Detailed teaching to train leaders in how to minister Deliverance (exorcism), bringing freedom from Generational Curses, Occult powers, and Sexual sin.
As you listen, you will gain insight into how demons can enter the lives of people; and what to do (step by step) to set a person free.
Freedom from Generational Iniquity & Curses (1 of 3)
Understand Generational Iniquity and Curses, recognize when it is operating in a person's life, and learn how to minister to help a person be set free.
Freedom from the Occult (2 of 3)
People trade with evil spirits for knowledge, power or protection and end up in bondage.Learn how to recognize occult bondage and how to set people free,
Freedom from Sexual Sin (3 of 3)
Understand God's design for a blessed life, and about the deep impact on our spirit and soul of sexual sin. Learn how to break bondages, minister deliverance, and rebuild damaged lives.
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Understand Generational Iniquity and Curses, recognize when it is operating in a person's life, and learn how to minister to help a person be set free.
When we have understanding of this whole area, then we can more easily administer to more people. So we want to understand what Generational Iniquity and Curses are. We want to learn how to recognise them - what we look for, and then we want to learn how to minister to people to set them free. So we’re going to focus around those things today.
So first of all, we’ll start in Mark 9. I believe that all of you, when you’re ministering to people, will need to become aware of this root problem of generational curses. I’ll just explain what we mean by these terms shortly. So first we want to take a look at a story in the gospel. We’re going to read from Mark 9:20 – “Then they brought him to Him. And when he saw Him, immediately the spirit convulsed him, he fell on the ground and wallowed, foaming at the mouth.”
So here is a young man, who has got a demonic spirit, and the spirit is manifesting. Many times you find, that when Jesus went to different places, spirits actually manifested. They did this as a reaction to the high level of anointing and presence of God He carried. As the level of anointing in our life rises, we often experience more of these things happening. Particularly you’ll find when you go to third world cultures, you’ll see very often spirits manifesting quite quickly. So the disciples had tried to cast the demon out, but were unable to.
I want you to notice here in verse 21 – Jesus asked the child’s father: how long has this been happening? And he said, “From childhood” - and the word literally means from being a little infant. 22 And often he has thrown him both into the fire and into the water to destroy him. If you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.” 23 Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.” 24 Immediately the father of the child cried out, and said with tears: “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!” 25 When Jesus saw the people came running together, He rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it: “Deaf and dumb spirit, I command you, come out of him and enter him no more!” 26 Then the spirit cried out, convulsed him greatly, and came out of him. And he became as one dead.” 27 But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up, and he arose. 28 And when He had come into the house, His disciples asked Him privately, “Why could we not cast it out?” 29 So He said to them, “This kind can come out by nothing but by prayer and fasting.”
So we’re going to go through the story, and gain some insights. The first thing we see is: a child is being tormented by an evil spirit. This means demonic spirits can be in people from childhood. There’s more than one example, of demonic spirits being in children, in the Bible. We need to distinguish between what is just bad behaviour, and lack of discipline, and a demonic spirit. Some children behave badly because they’ve never been disciplined. This example is not just bad behaviour and lack of discipline - the demon is actually throwing him into the fire - its destructive behaviour. So we see in this child, destructive behaviour, caused by the demonic spirit.
It’s interesting the question Jesus asks: How long has this been in him? Or how long has this been happening. That’s an important question to ask, when you are working with people. One of the things to look for, when you are tracking the presence of generational curses; ask this kind of question: when did this problem begin? Or as Jesus said: how long has this been happening? Now when you ask the question: how long has this been happening; if the person responds: well, since I was very young; then it’s either a trauma that happened when they were young that caused it; or it’s a generational curse of some kind.
So when you are working with people, you would ask: what is the problem you have; how does it affect you; and this question – how long have you had it”. When you ask the question “how long have you had this problem”, you get pointed to: possibly, this has been a generational thing. If you’re in some of the meetings, you’ll know I asked more than one person: how long has this spirit been tormenting you? Oh, since I was very, very young. In one or two cases, I said: this has been since very young, hasn’t it?
So, there’re two questions that will give clues to the presence of a generational curse. The first one is how long has this been happening? Or in other words, when did this start? The second one is: has anyone in your family had a problem like this? Those are the two questions to remember: 1) when did this first start; and 2) did anyone else in your family have this problem?
So, in trying to locate the root of this problem, you have to ask questions. Notice how Jesus started, by asking the father questions. The word “child” is literally the word
“infant”, one that’s just born, or very young; and the father describes the way the child behaves. So it’s almost certain that the child was suffering from some generational spirit.
Evil spirits need some legal ground to enter a person’s life. They need some door to get in. So unless the child had a trauma of some kind, its most likely this was a generational spirit. One thing we need to understand is that generational curses can be the cause of many problems that people have. A little later, we’ll ask: how we’ll recognise a generational curse - we’ll talk about how you would identify it.
Notice that Jesus said that faith is required for deliverance. If you can believe, all things are possible. So, faith is essential. I must believe that God will move - that I have power to cast these demons out. Notice that Jesus, later on the disciples asked Him: why could we not cast this demon out? They had done a lot of deliverance, they had seen results; but this time, it failed - and they were quite puzzled why they failed.
Jesus did not blame the father or the child. Jesus said to the disciples: it requires faith. Then he said an interesting statement – this kind comes out by nothing but by prayer and by fasting. In other words, Jesus is saying two things: 1) there are different levels of authority or power that evil spirits have; 2) we require faith that we’ll move them; 3) that prayer and fasting helps establish faith in our life.
You noticed Jesus did not stop and pray and fast - He just immediately delivered the demon out of the child; but when we read of His life, we find that He prayed, and He fasted. So moving in deliverance, we need to recognise the place prayer and fasting has, and we’ll talk a little bit about some aspects of prayer later on. I’ll just perhaps get a chance to share with you some things I pray around my life; but there has to be faith in the heart - so without faith, nothing happens.
So we see then, an example of a child who needed deliverance; and the single requirement: that there be faith - we have to believe God for the breakthrough; and that sometimes, there can be resistance. Notice that when the demon came out, Jesus identified what it was – a deaf and dumb spirit. It’s very helpful if you can name the spirit you’re commanding out. Naming it weakens its power in the person’s life. You notice also, that Jesus spoke directly, he commanded: “I command you come out”.
The last thing I noticed there is quite different - it’s the only place I’ve seen it. He commanded the spirit not to enter the child again. That’s the only time that’s actually mentioned, as far as I’m aware: “Don’t go back into this child”. So, when we do deliverance, the only example we have for forbidding the demon to return, is this particular one. I think that Jesus said this, because it’s a child. In the other cases, Jesus taught (Matthew 12) that if the demons do try and re-enter, the person has to be responsible, to build a good life with God. So, here is an example then, of what appears to be a generational, demonic spirit in the family.
Let me share with you a couple of stories of people we’ve prayed for, where there was clearly a generational spirit. The first one concerns a young child. Two people came to me, and they said: "we’re having a major problem with our child”. I said: “What is the problem?” They said “when the child wakes up, he immediately starts to destroy things in his room - he’s extremely destructive, and we have no idea why”. The child was around about the age of two and three. When it woke up, it would just go in a rage, and begin to be destructive. The parents had no understanding of why the behaviour would be like that.
So, I began to enquire about both of their backgrounds, and I looked for a spiritual root for what was a really unusual behaviour. It turns out that the husband had been involved equally in drug addiction, and had major anger problems; and the mother’s family had been involved deeply in the occult. So it would appear to me that the spirits that were there, came as a result of what the family, or the parents, had opened their lives to.
So in this particular case, praying for such a young child - we prayed when the child was asleep. It just was an easier way of doing it. You can pray when they’re awake, but you’ll find that often the demon will manifest, and the child will scream and shout and fight, and it becomes a very difficult process - can be quite unnerving. So, we prayed - I had the parents there with me, I didn’t want the child to wake and find a strange person in their room. So even if the child would maybe have recognised me, I didn’t want them to be awake and be frightened, so I had the parents with me, and the parents agreed that we would pray for this child. So I didn’t put my hand on him, I just put my hand just slightly above his head, so as not to wake him.
Then I spoke and prayed, and we broke the curses operating down through the father’s side of the family, and the mother’s side of the family – commanded the spirits to go. When we commanded the spirits to go, the child just began to yawn and sigh. He was asleep all the time, and several times as I prayed, he kind of gave a big sigh - it was quite evident that something was happening. We then just prayed that the spirit would not enter the child anymore; we released peace over the child; and he never woke up through the process.
The next day, the parents called me, and they said: “The child woke up today with absolutely no destructive behaviour - the problem has just completely gone! It’s just not there anymore.” So that was a great learning experience for me, of the reality of these generational spirits. This is what we’re going to look at – to identify these things, and discover how they occur, and primarily, what to do about it.
So that’s an example of a young person. I’ll give you an example of an older person. I had a woman come to me, and she must have been in her 50s I suppose. She said “I’m a Christian worker, I’ve been working for the Lord for many years of my life”. She said “I have a problem that greatly disturbs me, can you help me with it?” So, you notice the thread of questions: what is the problem; how does it affect you; how long have you had this problem?
She said: “Here’s the problem. I have these tormenting, unclean, sexual images coming into my mind - it disturbs me during times of worship.” So I said: “How long have you had this”. She said: “Since I was very young”. So then I asked the next couple of questions: “Did you have any traumatic experience, or were you exposed to any sexual abuse of any kind?” She said: “No”. So that left the only possibility open – that it was a generational spirit of some kind. The fruit was torment by an unclean spirit. She was experiencing these horrendous, unclean images in her mind - often as she worshipped.
So I asked her and enquired about her family background, and she began to tell her story to me. Her grandparents were missionaries in China, and they had two children – a daughter (which was her mother), and a son. They served the Lord in one province, and sent their children to another province. They sent them to a boarding school, but that province was overrun by the Japanese, and the school was taken over - and these were white, Western children. The girl was sexually abused by Japanese soldiers, over quite a long period of time. Eventually, the children were restored to their parents, and eventually they left China, and came and re-settled. The child grew up, got married, had a child, and the marriage broke up. So, we asked: “Are you willing to act on behalf of your family, and forgive these Japanese soldiers?” She said: “Yes, she would”.
So I led her in a very simple prayer, acknowledging her faith in Christ, and renouncing all of the sexual abuse that has come into the family life, and releasing forgiveness to the soldiers. When I commanded, unclean spirits just came out, with strong manifestation. Because we were aware of the nature of what had been done, I knew what to pray against. From that point on, her mind became clear, and she did not have the torment in her mind. She did not have these unclean sexual images - they were the product of a spirit of perversion, which had entered years before, into the family line.
So we’ve seen many other people, over the years, set free of spirits that were generational in nature. So, that’s why we want to have a look at this area and understand it. The first thing we see is a Bible example of a demonised child, and then we’ve seen a couple of personal stories. Now we want to have a look at this whole area.
First, I’m going to look at Galatians 3 - I want us to see what Christ has done. Galatians 3:13-14 says: “13 Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”), 14 that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.
So we notice very clearly in the scripture, that one work that Christ did on the cross, was to redeem us from cursing. The purpose of redeeming us from cursing is to bring us in to blessing. So God wants to move us from being in a place of cursing, into a place of blessing. Specifically, he wants to remove all curses from our breaking of the law of God. Notice in verse 14, God’s purpose is that blessing would come upon us, that we might receive the promise of the spirit.
So the Holy Spirit working in our life is the source of blessing. Blessing means favour. Blessing means fruitfulness. Blessing means the flow of the life of God. So God’s plan is to bring us, or position us, so we live a blessed life. So we need to understand - there’s absolutely no doubt here - God’s desire is for a blessed life, and our cooperating with the Holy Spirit is the cause of that blessed life. It is the life of faith in the spirit, that is a blessed life. Notice as the blessing of Abraham come upon the Gentiles in Christ; so God’s blessing on Abraham is fulfilled in Jesus. So when we identify with Jesus, and live with Him and identify with Him - that is the way blessing is released.
So blessing comes out of identifying with Jesus Christ, and aligning with his life. It comes out of living as a new-creation person in Christ. God’s blessing came upon His son Jesus Christ, and when I identify with Him, I am blessed. So when you become a Christian, you identify with Jesus Christ and His death, burial and resurrection - you are already positioned for blessing. You are blessed because of your relationship with Christ; and not because of all the things you do.
One danger is that, having come to Christ, we go back under the law. I am blessed because I identify with Christ; it’s not because of what I do. Otherwise, you come back under the law: if you do this you’re blessed; if you don’t’ do it, you’re cursed. Jesus has redeemed us from the curse of the law. In other words, He has paid the full price. His work on Calvary was enough to break the power of all cursing.
When Jesus died on the cross, He fully satisfied the demands of God. When Jesus died on the cross, we died with Him - and a dead man can’t be affected by curses. So notice He says: He redeemed us from the curse of the law; having become a curse for us. So on the cross, Jesus represented us. The nature of His death, hanging on a tree - in the Bible God said a person hanging on a tree is cursed.
So hundreds of years before the Romans invented crucifixion, God planned how we would be set free from cursing. He set a law in motion: if the person is hung on a tree, that person is cursed. So when Jesus was hung on a tree - He became a curse for us; and redeemed us from the curse of the law.
The power behind curses is demonic spirits. The power behind the curse is a demonic spirit. A curse is a spiritual force that works against us. A curse is an unseen spiritual force, that’s powered by an evil spirit; and it continues until the curse is broken. A curse is an unseen, or invisible, destructive force; that is empowered by evil spirits; and it continues until the curse is broken. Hence, we find many people struggling with the consequences of curses, in spite of the fact that Jesus has already redeemed them. It’s like the devil is making an illegal claim against them, so we have to enforce on the evil spirits what Jesus has done.
So we see here a couple of things then. Firstly, that the power behind a blessing is the Holy Spirit. And your life is blessed when you identify with Christ. Ephesians 1:6 says “We are blessed with every blessing in heavenly places in Christ”. I don’t have to work for blessing, I just need to receive blessing.
The power behind a curse is a demonic spirit. Curses are the result of the law of God being broken in some way. Jesus has redeemed us from all curses that come about as a result of breaking God’s law. To redeem means to pay the full ransom price - to pay the full price to set someone free. So if Jesus paid the full price, how much price do I have to pay? None! If Jesus has provided for me to be blessed, how much do I have to do to earn His blessing? Nothing - I need to just believe. So we’ll see as we get to how a person remains free, that the key for our victory is faith - not trying harder. The harder I try, the more I come under the curse of the law. I’m called to live differently. I’m called to live as a blessed person. So I am a blessed person, regardless of what is going on around me - I am blessed. I am blessed through faith in Christ. It’s not an external thing, it’s an internal thing. You are blessed. You are blessed in every way. You are blessed by God in every dimension of your life. You don’t have to earn the blessings; they’re something that comes when we identify with Christ. They are released through faith. We’ll talk a little bit about that later on. So we know what a blessing is and what a cursing is.
I’m going to go a little bit further now and look at Generational curses and Iniquity. I want to show you a couple of scriptures. We’ll look at the first few verses of Exodus 20, these are what we call the 10 commandments. We’ll read from verse 2 to verse 6:
2 “I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. 3 “You shall have no other gods before Me. 4 “You shall not make for yourself a carved image—any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; 5 you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, 6 but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.
So you notice here, a very clear warning against idolatry. So as we look at this verse, we begin to see that God sees people as families, interconnected families. Notice that, when we look at people, we see them as individuals. When God sees people, He sees them as part of a family line. So God views people generationally, and His plan is for His blessing to be generational. God desires blessing to flow from one generation to another. So remember, blessing is God’s favour. Blessing is the flow of the life of the Spirit around us. God’s plan is that blessing flow from one generation to another. That as you walk with God, your children benefit from your godly life.
In other words, without doing anything, they can receive great favour from God, because they are the children of someone living rightly for God. God’s intention is that each generation should build on what the previous generation established, or accomplished. So in God’s original design, blessing would flow from one generation to another. Each generation would have the advantage of what their parents had done, and they could go further. In other words, God’s desire and plan is that parents would leave a Godly legacy. This isn’t always seen at the beginning of a person’s life but it does show up in the latter part of their life. We often don’t notice that the little choices that we make each day are leading us on a certain course.
I’ll just give you an example. My wife’s parents have both died now. But I remember very vividly going to her father’s 80th birthday. It was a family celebration, and present at the celebration were all the family, and also friends. There were five children who had all grown up and all got married, and all had grandchildren - there were many grandchildren there of different ages. At a certain point in the evening, we began to celebrate and honour Joy’s father. Each of the 20 grandchildren stood up and shared briefly why they loved their grandfather.
He had intentionally over the years, walked with God, sacrificially given to the work of the Lord, and had made a decision to invest in each of his grandchildren. So when they were from the age of about 5 through the age of 11, he would take them on holidays. Two, three, or five of them together, and they would have a grandfather holiday. He would take them, and they would have a morning devotional, and pray together, and read the Bible together. They would go out and have fun together. Everyone had an opportunity to choose an activity and plan the day. He did all kinds of things over many years. In other words, he believed in generational legacy. So rather than spending money wildly on all kinds of things, he invested in his family. So at the age of 80, all of the grandchildren were able to testify how they loved him, and what they learned from him.
His brother was also present at the celebration. His brother had taken a different course in his life. He had rejected Christ, and he was now on his second marriage. He had committed adultery and been unfaithful, and now he was with another person. He had two daughters, neither of whom was married, and they were unusual people - and he had no grandchildren. I looked, and of course when his brother was growing up, he’d laughed at his faith in Christ. But here at the age of 80, you could look and you could see the life’s course, and the result of the decisions.
One had invested in family and walked with God and there was a Godly legacy – the legacy of a stable family, a good marriage, a legacy of grandchildren who loved their grandfather. The other one had an unstable marriage, unstable family, and no legacy to grandchildren.
So we understand God’s plan is that a legacy flow from one generation to another. We can align with Christ and leave an intentional legacy, or we can live a destructive life and other things come on our family. So if we walk with God, blessings begin to flow into our family, without us even realising it. They are blessed because we have walked with God - and this is what the scripture tells us.
I can remember when I was in Indonesia some years ago, and I was taking a meeting, and there were about 2000 people there. I had my son David with me, and he had come with me on more than one mission’s trip. Normally when I plan them, we do all the training of the leaders, and after we’ve trained the leaders, then we do the ministry. So we got to the first day, and I’d asked them: train leaders, then ministry - but it was a holiday, so they had meetings - and we had no one trained. So no one knows what to do, and they’ve all come wanting deliverance. It was only David and me, and more than 1000 came up in the altar call - it was a monstrous altar call - rows and rows and rows of people.
So I remember looking at my son saying: well Dave, you can do half of them, and I’ll do the other half, and so we got going. I got praying and things were happening, people who were slain in the spirit, demons coming out everywhere. Suddenly I thought: I need to have a look and see how Dave’s getting on. All around him, people are on the ground and demons have been coming out. He’s just had a major move of God around him. I spoke to him a little later about it. I said: “What happened?”
He said: “Well, about 3 months ago, I decided that what was on your life from God was an inheritance for me.” So I began in prayer to take hold of what belonged to me. Isn’t that something? He said: “...and this is what happened today”. So, there’s an example of Godly legacy. He stood up and said: what is on your life is mine to have. What he’s saying is: I don’t have to pay the price you paid, to get that. I can have that, because I’m connected to you, we’re family. Interesting thinking isn’t it?
So we can have what is upon Christ, because we are connected to Him - He is our elder brother. We just have to arise and take hold of what Christ has provided for us. He is the elder brother, who broke through and became blessed. We are blessed because we’re in Him - we just need to take hold of the blessing.
Now, notice the two sides of this. We see then that families are interconnected. Now He says this: The Lord your God is a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me; but showing mercy to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments. So God is saying in this scripture here, that there are generational consequences of sin. Of course the most obvious one is Adam. Adam sinned, and we’ve all been born in sin. In this particular scripture, God says: certain kinds of sin will have generational consequences; and this is echoed in other scriptures.
Let me read another one for you. Lamentations 5:7. In this chapter 5, the prayer is for God to bring restoration. It starts of in verse 2 - Our inheritance has been turned over to aliens, and our houses to foreigners. 3 We have become orphans and waifs, our mothers are like widows. 4 We pay for the water we drink, and our wood comes at a price. 5 They pursue at our heels; we labor and have no rest.
Now look at what he’s saying. He’s saying: we are in reproach. That means we’re incredibly ashamed and embarrassed of our condition. He said: the Godly inheritance has been taken away from us by other people. He’s saying that the blessing have been stripped away. He said: we’ve become orphans, or no one to father us, we’ve lost parents. He said: the water that we drink, which should be free, we have to pay for. The trees which we should be able to cut down for wood, we have to pay for them as well. He said: we are labouring, or working, and there’s absolutely no rest; and we’re in bondage to the Syrians and Egyptians. So that’s a very unhappy condition isn’t it? So what’s he saying, we’re in bondage, we’re in slavery.
Notice now what he says in verse 7, he actually says what the cause of the problem is. 7 Our fathers sinned and are now no more, or have died, but we bear their iniquities. What he’s saying is: our parents did something wrong, and we’ve experienced the consequences. What they did has brought problems to us. Or in other words, their sin has had a generational impact. That’s exactly what he said in Exodus chapter 20. So there are many scriptures that are like this.
Let’s go back to Exodus 20. God is speaking specifically about idolatry and iniquity. Let’s first of all, talk about idolatry. Verse 5 says: I the Lord your God, am a jealous God. We need to understand what that means. When it says: God is jealous; He’s talking about having a passionate love for us. It says: I’m passionately in love with you. So when I see someone else be your lover, I am extremely upset by this. It’s not saying that God has got some evil nature to Him. It’s saying that I love you so immensely; it hurts Me deeply to see you follow some other person. He’s using a marriage language here. He’s saying: I’m like a jealous husband.
It would help you to understand this a little more, if I just tell you a little bit about the context here. The context in which something is said, is very important for what it all means. What is going on that causes God to give these 10 commandments? So we’re going to answer that one. If you don’t know anything about the Hebrew culture, this is a bit of a mystery. It’s like God has just written down laws: you keep the law. Do the law – good! Don’t do law – punish! Most people think of it like that.
You need to understand that there is a much bigger picture here. You remember that the Lord drew the people of Israel out into the wilderness, then God came down to encounter them. God began to talk to them about wanting to meet with them; and there was a covering that came down over them. The words God spoke are quite meaningful to the Hebrews. He said: you are a special treasure to me.
In the Hebrew culture, when someone wanted to marry someone, there were steps that they took. The first step was to say: you are a special treasure to me. There were a number of steps that would take place. Finally they would come to the place of engagement, or betrothal to marry. They would come under a canopy, and in preparation for marriage, the groom would bring out what was called the marriage arrangement.
Their marriage arrangement consisted of the requirements of this marriage covenant. So this Exodus 20 is what’s called the ketubah, it was called the marriage covenant. So what they would do is that they would exchange vows, and there would be an agreement. This is what we agree to, so we can maintain our marriage relationship. They had lived in slavery for years, so this ketubah was absolutely wonderful to them.
But notice what God is saying: rethink this! Rethink it as a marriage relationship. I’m the Lord your God, you have no other gods before Me. I want to be number 1 in your life, don’t have any other boyfriends. Don’t make images of other gods. Don’t keep the pictures of your old boyfriends. Honour the Lord your God. Don’t take My name in vain. In other words, when we get married, I want you to live a life that honours me, so I’m proud of you and not ashamed of you. So it goes through, and all of those steps – don’t steal - I’ll provide for you.
It’s all about a marriage relationship. It’s all about the terms of living as a husband and wife betrothed to God. I encourage you to look up and search on the internet a Hebrew wedding, and the engagement process; and you will see here in Exodus 19 and 20, this is the whole process of coming into covenant agreement with God.
So now God says: there are consequences if you are unfaithful in marriage. We tend to think of relationship with God being casual - but it isn’t, it’s called covenant - a binding agreement. So this is what God is saying: if you’re unfaithful to Me, there are consequences. So this is what He says: if you follow after idols, the impact of that idolatry, will last for generations. Let’s go and have a look at that. Have a look at what He’s saying here.
So in Exodus 20: I the Lord am a jealous God. In other words, I’m a passionate lover - I don’t want you to have other boyfriends. That’s what that means - it’s true! In James He puts it this way: if you follow the world with all its values - you’re an adulteress. You’re unfaithful to God! God loves us – and He wants to have an intimate relationship.
Notice God talks about specifically idolatry. There are many sources of cursing, but idolatry is a significant one. He said: you’ll have no other gods before Me. Don’t make any images, don’t bow down to them. Now, to “bow down” means to worship, or pay respect, to an idol. It means to give that idol a place of honour and value in your life. When a person bows down to an idol, they are actually acknowledging the demon that’s in the idol. The power behind an idol is an evil spirit; but the idol itself is just a piece of wood - it’s actually nothing, it’s meaningless, it’s a carving of hand; but behind it and within it is an evil spirit. So when people bow down to the idol, they are actually honouring and yielding to the demonic presence that inhabits it. So you understand God being very upset with that.
Now, when a person makes an offering to an idol, they are trading with an evil spirit. They are trading. That means, they are offering in exchange. To trade, I give you something; you give me something - it’s an agreement. So if you make an offering to an idol, you are intentionally entering in an agreement with an evil spirit - that’s why there’s a problem with this. You give the offering to the idol, and implicitly you are looking for protection, or provision, or power.
These are all things God wants to provide, so when you bow down to an idol, you are rejecting God as the source of provision, power and protection, and you are trading with an idol; trading with an evil spirit. So this is the problem with idolatry – that when we bow down and offer sacrifices to them, we are trading with an evil spirit, entering into an agreement with an evil spirit, and the evil spirit now has a legal right of access. A legal right of access!
In Psalm 115 verse 8, we’ll read from verse 3. Notice what it talks about idols. “3 But our God is in heaven; He does whatever He pleases. 4 Their idols are silver and gold, the work of men’s hands. 5 They have mouths, but they do not speak; Eyes they have, but they do not see; 6 They have ears, but they do not hear; Noses they have, but they do not smell; 7 They have hands, but they do not handle; Feet they have, but they do not walk; Nor do they mutter through their throat.” Now notice this: “8 Those who make them are like them; and so is everyone who trusts in them.”
Those who make them are like them - so you become like what you worship. So if you worship the idols, then what will happen is, you will end up becoming like them – cold and hard. So I have observed: that people who are involved in idolatry, usually have deep roots of bitterness in their lives, and emotional coldness and hardness. Literally, a spirit of death gets hold of them. So when there’s family idolatry, usually the people are very hard emotionally.
Let’s go back into Exodus 20. So God says: if you bow down to them, I the Lord am a jealous God, and I will visit the iniquity of your fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generation of those who do these things. Notice God says: He visits the iniquity.
The consequence of sin is death. God set that law in place – you sin, you die - and a number of sins in the Bible had death penalties. The problem is, if God kills you when you do that sin, it cuts of all the generations. So rather than kill you, the judgement on that sin is just spread generationally. So no one dies; but everyone’s affected.
The word iniquity then, means to be crooked. The Greek word ‘avon’ and the Hebrew language means: what you look at with your eye, will hook you in. So iniquity then, is to be crooked - to be twisted or bent. It’s to have a leaning towards a certain kind of problem. So iniquity is the driving power that turns people towards sin. Iniquity is the root, out of which the sinful acts turn up. Iniquity is a problem!
I want to show you a verse in Exodus 34:6-7 – 6 “And the LORD passed before Moses and proclaimed, “The LORD, the LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth, 7 keeping mercy for thousands.” I want you to notice this very carefully – “forgiving iniquity, and transgression, and sin; by no means clearing the guilty, but visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children and the children’s children to the third and the fourth generation.”
We see here that God is proclaiming His name or nature. The first thing we see is God says: I’m a God of mercy. 1) Mercy. I give mercy - merciful, gracious, long-suffering, kind; also, He’s a God of justice. Mercy is greater than justice. God’s mercy means He forgives; is long-suffering, goodness. God’s justice - He requires us to come account for sin.
Notice what He says here – that God forgives 3 things: Iniquity; Transgression; Sin - those are 3 different things. We just tend to think of sin - I did something wrong, but the Bible distinguishes between them. Iniquity is one thing; transgression is something else; sin is something else - these terms all turn up in the New Testament as well. We tend to just use one broad word – sin. Jesus died for my sins. Actually, we need to understand iniquity, transgression, sin. All of them, the blood of Jesus has the remedy for it, but each of them is completely different.
Iniquity means to be crooked or twisted - it’s the bending in your life towards sin. That’s what we’re going to be dealing with, when we’re dealing with generational curses and iniquities.
Transgression – that’s something different. It means to deliberately break the law of God. You knew it was wrong, you knew in your conscience it was wrong, but you did it anyway - you broke the law of God.
Sin means to fall short of the mark; to cause an offense. It pertains mostly to things we have done but we didn’t realise ot. We did something wrong, but we didn’t realise we were doing something wrong - we did it ignorantly.
For example, you may not realise there’s a 50 km/h speed zone outside, and you went 80 km/h; and you were stopped, and they said: “You did 80, this is only a 50 km/h zone.” You say “Well, I didn’t know”. The policeman doesn’t say to you, “Oh, I’m so sorry you didn’t know - it’s ok then - move on”. He doesn’t say that, instead He says: “Whether you knew it or not, you still broke the law. You have to pay the fine”.
Notice now, three categories of issues that need to be addressed. 1) Iniquity – the twist in the person’s life. So even if they say they’re sorry, they still keep moving towards that. 2) the transgression – deliberate violating of the law of the Lord; 3) I made a mistake I didn’t know I was doing wrong, I’m so sorry.
There was an offering for sins of ignorance, and there was an offering for transgressions, so they were quite different. You notice in the Old Testament that when Moses required the people to apply the blood, notice what he did: apply it to the lintel, the post, the post. Iniquity; transgression; sin - Basic crookedness; willingly breaking the law; sins of ignorance – apply the blood. Why did he not say: just put it on the top one? Because the blood of Jesus Christ totally deals with every aspect of our sin and failure - iniquity, transgressions, sins. Notice that in applying it, they literally make a cross. So right back there in Exodus 12, God points out the cross and blood that will deal with iniquity, transgression, and sin.
Notice this – the transgressions that’s doing something wrong, the sins that’s doing something wrong - everyone’s responsible for their own. Everyone is called to look to account for their own sin. You are not blamed for the sins your parents committed. You are not blamed or responsible for their transgressions - but the iniquity you carry. We need to deal with the issue of iniquity – the cursing in our flesh, that seems to produce these troubles.
We’ll just finish with one more scripture. You notice that what is visited upon the children and grandchildren to the third and fourth generation is iniquity. In Deuteronomy 23, I just want to read you one other kind of cursing that passes from one generation to another. In verse 2 - 3: “One of illegitimate birth shall not enter the assembly of the LORD; even to the tenth generation, none of his descendants shall enter the assembly of the LORD. An Ammonite or Moabite shall not enter the assembly of the LORD; even to the tenth generation, none of his descendants shall enter the assembly of the LORD forever”.
I want you to just be aware as we finish this session of just these two particular curses. The first one referred there, refers to illegitimacy – conceived, born out of wedlock. What it is saying is that there is a curse of rejection upon that person. In other words, when a child is conceived or born out of wedlock, then there is access of a particular type of spirit – the spirit of rejection - to their life.
Let me give you an example. I had a man come up in an altar call, we had a lot of people in an altar call, and we didn’t have time to counsel him, so I just ask a few simple questions. What is your problem? I want you to notice the questioning that gets to the root. Each day I pray that God will give me the ability to ask questions that go right to the root of problems. This is what I asked him – what is your problem? He said: “I’m angry, a lot of anger”. I said: “Who are you angry at?” “Everyone”. Now that means, he has a root of anger, he was angry at someone, but he never dealt with it. So I said, “how do you get on with your parents?” We’ll go right back and start there. He was very angry with both of his parents. I said: “Did they do something wrong against you?” He said: “I don’t know. I’m just angry at them”. I said: “Are you the eldest in the family.” He said: “Yes, I am”. I said: “Were you conceived out of wedlock”. He said: “Yes, I was”.
I said: “Here’s where the anger is. You are carrying a deep root of rejection and shame in your life, and you put the blame on the people who stepped in to help you. Being angry with them, you’ve continued now to project that anger on everyone. I said: “You need to forgive the parents who gave you out (for adoption). The father who rejected you, the mother who rejected you. You need to forgive the parents for projecting on to them all your anger. You need to go to them and put it right and apologise; because they stepped in to help and you’ve rejected them - you’ve greatly dishonoured them. That’s all it took!
Notice that the cause of it was the illegitimacy; and the deep root of rejection and anger that was in his life - and the way he carried it constantly. Anger is a demand - you took something from me, you must pay back. It’s a reaction to what’s felt or believed to be an injustice. You owe me - is the message of anger. Letting your rights go, and forgiving, is the release of it.
Just think about this – you go into a family line through four generations.... Assume that everyone had just two children. Your parents have two children, next family line there’s another 4 people there, next family line now we go back there’s more people. So gradually we begin to start to realise there’s up to 30 people involved. With 10 generations, there’s a lot more people.
Notice what we finish up with. God loves us passionately, but certain types of sins open the door for a generational curse, and an iniquity. We saw then, a cursing is a negative destructive force, empowered by an evil spirit. Notice that iniquity is a crookedness in the family line that causes people to sin. So iniquity and curses go together - they are quite different, but they go together, and they transfer from one generation to another. Next we’ll look a little bit more about those areas. We’ll look at some Bible examples and we want to come to a point of showing you how you’ll minister to people to get them free. Next we’ll show you some more things about it, then the path to freedom.
We’re looking at the topic of Generational Iniquity & Curses. Generational refers to something passing down from one family member to another. So, generational iniquity is a tendency in a family to a certain kind of sin, for example: patterns of adultery or alcoholism. There can be patterns of sin running in a family line. Generational curses are negative forces running through the family, one generation to another, that’s powered by evil spirits. Firstly, I want to look at how iniquity is transferred. How it shifts from one family member to another. Then we’ll look at curses in themselves, and how to identify them.
First of all, iniquity - how is it transferred? We’re going to list some possible ways they’re transferred. The first is: it’s generational, it’s inherited. Just as you carry physical features of your parents, you also carry some of the iniquity. Secondly, they can be empowered by spirits; there may be familiar spirits operating in the family. Thirdly, they may pass in a family line, because of bitter judgements against the parents.
Bitter Judgements - if you judge your parents for a particular sin or failure, you set in motion a cycle of sowing and reaping in your life. The thing you have judged will turn up in your own life. You hear someone say: “I’ll never be like my father”. That means they have been hurt, there is a judgement against their father, and now an inner vow. The result is, they’ll probably become exactly like him. When we judge our parents, we set in motion a cycle of iniquity continuing in our family. The thing we judge, we reap.
It seems likely then, that causes of this iniquity moving from one family generation to another are: familiar spirits; bitter judgements; and possibly genetic code. It’s quite possible that some of these areas of sin corrupt the genetic code, and create issues that pass through the genetic line. Another cause or source of the iniquity transferring is just patterns of learned behaviour. In other words, people tend to copy what their parents do.
In looking at iniquity continuing in the family line: 1) there’s a spiritual power, and a curse operating. We’re bearing the consequences spiritually of their sin. 2) Bitter judgements. 3) Patterns of behaviour; and possibly familiar spirits; and maybe genetic code.
You understand then, if you’re going to deal with something, you need to know what it is you’re dealing with. For example, if the person has judged their parent, they need to repent of the judgement and forgive. If the person has learned or copied their behaviour, they need to learn new ways of behaving and living.
Now, let’s have a look at the issue of curses, generational curses. I want you to understand what a curse is, and how we can recognise them. Usually curses are spoken words, which set in motion spiritual powers. Curse – you speak words, and they’re spoken with force, and they release spiritual powers. Generally they continue from generation to generation until they’re broken. The power behind the curse is an evil spirit or a demon. To curse someone, means to bring evil, or calamity, or destruction on them. Curse – bring evil or calamity upon them.
When a curse is operating, there’s a spiritual pressure on the person, to continually bring destructive results in their life. This presses the person who presses their relationship, presses their circumstances. Another way of putting it would be: recurring cycles of defeat.
Where does the curse come from? Proverbs 26:2 said “the curse, without a cause, shall not come”. Or to put it another way: if there’s a curse, there’s always a reason. There’s always a reason. One possible cause of the curse is God – He set laws in place, you violate the laws, there are consequences. Breaking God’s laws, gives demons room to move in a person’s life.
A second cause of curses is people - people speaking out, cursing our family, cursing us, or people practising witchcraft. Witchcraft – words are spoken that release spiritual power against someone. For example, a person dedicating a child to an idol or a temple - that initiates a cursing. If a person opens their life to an evil spirit, or dedicates themselves to an evil spirit - that would initiate a cursing.
Sometimes, authority figures can speak words of cursing. “You’ll never do any good. You’re stupid”. People in authority, speaking in destructive words, can cause cursings to take place.
People can curse themselves. “I’m a failure. I’ll never do any good. I’ll probably fail.”
Another potential source of cursing on a person’s life is occult objects. Deuteronomy 7:25-26. This is what the word of God says: “You shall burn the carved images of their gods with fire; you shall not covet the silver or gold that is on them, nor take it for yourselves, lest you be snared by it; for it is an abomination to the LORD your God. Nor shall you bring an abomination into your house, lest you be doomed to destruction like it. You shall utterly detest it and utterly abhor it, for it is an accursed thing.” So, objects such as idols or occult objects can bring spiritual forces into the home, and you have undue influences.
If a curse is operating, there will always be fruit. If you want to discover if a curse is operating, you just look for repeated patterns of failure. When we’re looking for generational iniquity and curses, we’re looking for repeated patterns of failure - particularly the ones that pass from one generation to another.
So what kinds of patterns of failure? The book of Deuteronomy lists many. Deuteronomy 28:15 says: “But it shall come to pass, if you do not obey the voice of the LORD your God, to observe carefully all His commandments and His statutes which I command you today, all these curses will come upon you and overtake you”.
It begins to talk about these and gives a whole list of them. What we’ll do is, we’ll just summarise them so you’ve got a list to look for. These are evidences it could be operating. There may however be other factors as well. At least it’ll give you a start place to look for.:
1) Recurring mental and emotional problems in the family.
2) Recurring chronic sickness and allergies.
3) Difficulties with pregnancy. That means difficulties conceiving; miscarriages; childlessness. Interestingly enough, this is particularly associated with idolatry. In the book of Hosea 9, it says that idolatry - one of the consequences is: the womb will cast forth its fruit.
4) Recurring patterns of family breakdown and divorce. So, repeated cycles of divorce and family breakdown. Also conflicts in the family – everyone’s against everyone.
5) Recurring patterns of financial lack. Everything should be going right, we should get blessed, and suddenly there’s a setback; recurring patterns of family lack or financial lack. 6) Another symptom is that a person’s got patterns of accident-proneness. Tend to constantly get accidents; or it seems the family has patterns of accident in it.
7) Another thing to look for is recurring patterns of suicide, or premature death. You look in a family, and there’s a history of suicides or people dying unexpectedly early - that could be evidence of a curse.
8) I’ve also come to the conclusion that patterns of abuse and traumas or mistreatment is also evidence of a curse.
9) Another one that I have observed is inability to settle - no rest, no ability to be stable. Remember that Cain was cursed with this - he was a vagabond; he couldn’t rest or settle anywhere.
Now, all of these problems can have a variety of causes, but if they are repetitive problems, they tend to be generational. For example, if someone came to me and they’re suffering from tormenting nightmares, I would ask: “Tell me what is the problem. How is it affecting you. When did it first start?” “I’ve had it all my life” - that would suggest it is family or generational. Or they could answer – they’ve got another problem, “I’ve got these allergies”. “How long have you had them?” “All of my life” “Did anyone else in your family have them?” “My mother had them, and her mother had them.” So you see a repeated kind of pattern, and you realise there’s something operating down the family line.
So you’re looking for repeated patterns - something that’s crooked and twisted. There’s a power operating behind it. I’ll give you a few examples in the Bible, where clearly either iniquity or curses are operating. You can quite easily see that actually, the two are connected, but you can usually easily see which is which. We’ll have a look at a few of them now.
Let’s look at King David. 2 Samuel 12:10 – these are the words of Samuel: “Now therefore, the sword shall never depart from your house, because you have despised Me, and have taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your wife.” So what does that sound like? Sounds like a curse - the sword shall never depart from your house. So what did David do that caused this problem in his family? He committed adultery and murder. Here’s the first question – did David get forgiven by God? Yes he was forgiven. However, the consequence, or iniquity, went down his family line. So, if you follow David’s family, you realise there was adultery, there was rape, there was bitterness, there was betrayal, and one of the brothers killed the other brother. So looking at David’s family line, you see many problems, which had a generational root.
I’ll give you another example from 2 Kings 5:27. You remember Gehazi and Elisha. Remember how Gehazi coveted the money and goods that came from Naaman the Syrian. This is what Elisha spoke to him (2 Kings 5:26 - 27): “Did not my heart go with you, when the man turned back from his chariot to meet you? Is it time to receive money and to receive clothing, olive groves and vineyards, sheep and oxen, male and female servants? Therefore the leprosy of Naaman shall cling to you and your descendants forever”; and he went out from his presence leprous, as white as snow.
You notice that his sin was that there was coveting, or greed in his heart. He lied - he deceived, in order to manipulate someone to get some possessions in gold. In doing so, he ruined the strategic alliance between Elisha and Naaman, who was a high military person in Syria. Elisha did not want anything from Naaman the Syrian, even though he was an extremely wealthy man. He wanted to leave this man in debt to him, and to operate free of any requirement of him - this would give him power to speak into his life. If he took money from him, if he charged for his services, it would undermine his authority and the strategic relationship.
Just to give an example of that, there are times when I minister to some very highly important people in Taiwan. It’s always important that when I go to them, I never ask or want anything from them. That I go, what I give is free. That keeps then, the ability to keep my heart clear, and to have influence in these people’s lives. This is because the moment I was to show any signs of greed, they would pick it straight away.
Authority in their life depends on being totally free from a hidden agenda; so this greed in Gehazi’s heart was very serious - it undermined Elisha’s reputation. You notice that the result was leprosy - physical sickness. Notice that it was ‘cling to you and your descendents’. His sin opened the door for a generational leprosy in the family line.
Think of some other ones. In Genesis 12:10-13, remember how Abraham lied about his wife Sarah? In Genesis 26:7, Isaac his son lied also, about his wife. In Genesis 27:19, Jacob lied - pretended to be Esau - lied and deceived his poor blind dad. Then in Genesis 37:33, the whole family lied, when they covered up the death of Joseph. This is an example of an iniquity - a tendency towards dishonesty – lying in the family line. Notice the sins get worse and worse.
Another example would be Eli – 1 Samuel 3:12-14 and 1 Samuel 2:30-33 Remember he was unfaithful in his priesthood, and the curse came upon him and his family. Let’s just have a look at what the curse was - 1 Samuel 3:13 – “I will judge his house forever, for the iniquity which he knows, because his sons made themselves vile, and he did not restrain them.” So notice there, verse 14 says – “Therefore, I have sworn to the house of Eli, that the iniquity of Eli’s house shall not be atoned for by sacrifice or offering forever.”
Now we find out exactly what it was - go back to chapter 2, verse 31: “Behold, the days are coming that I will cut off your arm, and the arm of your father’s house, so that there will not be an old man in your house.” Verse 33: “But any of your men, whom I do not cut off from My altar, shall consume your eyes and grieve your heart; and all the descendants of your house shall die in the flower of their age.”
Basically what he’s saying is: the generational legacy of worshipping God will be removed from you, and there’ll be premature deaths in your family. He said – there’ll be constant grief. What he’s saying is that there is a generational curse coming, and it can’t be removed.
So there are other examples: Genesis 9:23 – Noah’s grandson Canaan was cursed. Genesis 4:11 – Cain was cursed with his descendents.
So we see then, the activity of generational iniquity and curses. How are we going to get the person free? What are the steps to freeing a person up?
The first thing is to know and understand fully what Jesus did, and then how to apply it. So we’ll just give you the scriptures for this, without taking too much time to develop them.
First, in Galatians 3:14 - Jesus positioned us to be blessed by breaking the curse. So in Galatians 3:13-14 - He redeemed us from the curse of the law. In other words: paid full price, to rescue us from all of these curses. If He paid the full price, there’s no price we have to pay. He did it so that the blessing of Abraham might come upon us through faith in Christ, and we receive the promise of the Spirit. So Jesus broke the power of curses, and positioned us to be blessed.
He also carried our iniquities. In Isaiah 53:5, it says: “But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed. We all like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, every one, to his own way; and the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.”
Notice there that Jesus took our transgressions - that’s breaking the law of God. He was bruised for our iniquities - that’s the core twist in our nature against God. So when Jesus died at the cross, He took all our iniquities, so that the power of iniquity could be broken completely. He took our transgressions and our sins. Colossians 2:14-15 – he removed them out of the way. Broke the power of curses, and positioned us to be blessed.
So therefore, what is required of us? How do we get a person free of these cursings? When you are working with someone, we need to ask the Holy Spirit to show us what the real problem is, and what its root is. We need to ask the Holy Spirit to help us. It’s always challenging to find the problem and its root. The problem may be obvious, or not obvious; but the root is what is empowering this thing. So we need to find: what is the root; and remove it, so that the person gets free from the power.
How would we get to the root of the problem? You have to ask the Holy Spirit to help you. You have to ask questions. So ask the Holy Spirit to help you, and of course, listen to what He has to say. He might just drop a thought in your mind to enquire about something.
Do you remember I’ve told you about the young man who was angry - and the Lord just dropped a thought in my mind. Obviously I asked the first question – “When did it start?”; “Are you the elder son? Were you conceived out of wedlock?” He said: “Where did you get these questions from?” “I just felt them inside - I was just listening to the Holy Spirit, and immediately nailed the problem”. From there we could work out a solution.
So the first thing is to ask the Holy Spirit to help you, and learn to listen to what He shows you. It may be that you just get a thought that comes to mind, a picture comes to mind, or you just feel the need to ask something. Stay sensitive to the Holy Spirit.
So when we’re looking at the person’s problem, you can ask these questions. What is the problem? When did it start? The question ‘when did it start?’ tends to open up whether this is a generational problem or not.
Did any member in your family have this problem? So you could draw a simple family tree, and you begin to look and see where these things have come from. When I’m working, I always have a piece of paper with me, and I ask questions about the person, then about their father, about their mother. I begin to look and see if there’re any issues coming down from either side of the family. Asking questions can help establish where this thing had begun; or the Holy Spirit will show you.
So you get it by listening - listen to the Holy Spirit; listen to the person. So listening is very important in trying to diagnose. Don’t jump to conclusions quickly. Listen and ask and follow what God is saying to your heart. The first steps of getting a person free are what you call ‘diagnose’. I would sit with a piece of paper, and I write down the things which are apparently the problems.
Now, how do we deal with a generational curse, and generational iniquity? Let me give you just a couple scriptures on that. In Leviticus 26:40, there’s a clue to how the person can get set free. Notice what God says in His word in verse 39 – 40: “They’re in their fathers’ iniquities, and are wasting away; but if they confess their iniquity, and the iniquity of their fathers, and their unfaithfulness in which they were unfaithful to Me, and walked contrary to Me.”
So you notice: confession of iniquity is important. There are a number of examples of people confessing iniquity. For example, Nehemiah 1:6 - he confessed his own iniquities, and the iniquities of his fathers. Nehemiah 9:37 – Nehemiah confessed the iniquities of himself, and his fathers. Daniel 9:3 – who also confessed his iniquities. So, there has to be acknowledgment of the sin. The sin, the iniquity, must be brought to the cross.
So, what is the generational iniquity; and have you been doing this yourself? You have to find that out. For example, if the issue was idolatry - the parents were involved in idolatry; but did you do this as well? Your own sins you need to acknowledge, and the sins of your parents that opened the door for the sin.
1) We diagnose the problem - by asking the Holy Spirit; and asking the person questions.
2) We talk to the person and we show them how to get free. We explain to them what Christ has done for them. They are redeemed from the curse. God desires to position them for blessing. Galatians 3:13-14. But for this to happen, they need to do some things. So we explain to them what they must do.
These are quite logical steps: the diagnosis of what the problem is; help them understand what Christ has done; help them understand what they need to do; then we tell them what we will do to help them. I will lead you in a prayer, and this is what you will need to do in the prayer.
1) You will need to acknowledge Christ, because it is by identifying with Christ that we are free.
2) You will need to acknowledge the iniquity - for family iniquity, and your own iniquity.
3) You will need to renounce the generational curse. To renounce means to cancel its power. You need to speak words, to break the power of this iniquity and cursing. You need to ask Jesus to forgive you, to cleanse you from this iniquity. You’ll need to release forgiveness – to forgive family members who opened the door for this iniquity; and you’ll need to make a stand of faith, calling on the Lord to deliver you, and holding on to His words.
We’ll go through that again, so we’ve got the pattern of what must happen. It begins with diagnosis – asking the questions and listening to the person and the Holy Spirit. Identifying where this came from, father or mother - through which line? So we’ve done the diagnosis.
Then we need to explain to them what Jesus has done, because it’s faith in Christ that brings freedom. Galatians 3:13-14 are very good verses for this - very clear. So help them understand, that it is by faith in Christ that the remedy comes. Then we explain to them their part in the process; and what our part will be. We will lead them through a prayer to acknowledge Christ. We will lead them through a prayer to acknowledge the generational iniquity, and their own iniquity. To renounce and cancel the cursing, ask forgiveness and cleansing; release forgiveness to family members who open the door; to resist this curse, and reach out to Jesus in faith. So that’s the process.
Then of course, the last thing I found which is helpful, is to teach them to hold the cross of Christ between them and the family line. You are a new person in Christ.
What would the prayer look like? What would a prayer for generational idolatry look like? I’ll go through now, and I’ll put words to what I’ve just said. I’ll go slowly, because you may decide you’d like to write it down. Here’s the thing: don’t be preoccupied trying to get exact wording. Some people get fussed over getting the wording right - which is just the externals. I’d rather get the heart right, and stay in the flow of the Spirit, than be worried about getting every detail right.
Let me just break the prayer down for you, following exactly the steps we said.
1) The confession of faith. It would sound something like this. “Father I come to You in Jesus’ name. I confess Jesus Christ as my Saviour and Lord. I am redeemed by the blood of Jesus. From every curse, every evil spirit, all iniquity, all sin, I am redeemed. I belong to Jesus.” That’s just a confession of faith. It is extremely powerful. It’s really good for you to lead the person in that. You notice it’s just confessing my connection with Christ, and belief in what he’s done - this is the basis of freedom. What sets you free is faith in the blood, not faith in the prayer. What sets a person free is faith in Christ, not faith in the person praying - so you’re directing them towards Christ. Now we’ll go to the next part.
2) “Lord I stand as a representative of my family, and acknowledge our iniquity. I bring our family generational iniquity of idolatry to the cross. I confess I have also been involved in idolatry, so I bring my iniquity to the cross.”
You notice quite clearly that we brought family iniquity or sin to the cross; we brought personal sin to the cross. It may well be that the person has not actually been involved in that iniquity themselves, but most likely they have. You can see that it is important to confess the sin. “I ask you Lord to forgive me, and cleanse me of this iniquity and from all iniquity and sin”. So sin is confessed.
3.) Now speak words to renounce. “In Jesus’ name, I renounce, I cancel, all generational curses, all agreements with evil spirits. I renounce them, and cancel them. I renounce all iniquity in our family line, in Jesus’ name.
Lord I forgive my family; I forgive my parents; and those in my family who opened the door for this iniquity, who opened the door for this curse - I forgive them and bless them.”
It may be helpful at that point to renounce any judgements - “I renounce all judgements I made against my father and mother. I cancel them now.”
Now can you see that just by words - we’re dismantling things. If you can remember just the key things that are involved, it’s quite easy to remember how to pray a prayer to dismantle it - “I renounce all agreements my family members have entered into with evil spirits. I renounce all generational curses - I renounce and cancel their power. I renounce all agreements with evil spirits. I renounce this iniquity in my family line, and I cancel its power.”
Now, here’s where you would put in the cross - “Father I forgive my family, forgive my father and mother; renounce all judgements I’ve made against them. I hold the cross of Christ between me and my family line, and declare this iniquity and curse broken.” You see that the person, by confession, is dismantling this problem. “Now Lord I ask You to set me free”.
I tried to break that down into its elements. Now, what would you do at that point? At that point, you need to minister to them; so, this is what you would do. You need to speak into two things” 1) into the iniquity and curses, to break them; and 2) to the demonic spirits that are in the person. So one: you need to confront and break bondages, break the generational curses and iniquity, and two: you need to command the spirits to come out of them. Let the Holy Spirit to guide and direct.
You would do it something like this. Remember when you’re speaking now into the spirit realm - speak differently to when you are leading them in a prayer. Rise up in your spirit – “In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, I break the generational curses. I break all agreements made with evil spirits. I break them in Jesus’ name. I break all generational iniquity. I break it in Jesus’ name. I cut off this hold from your life.”
It’s like you’re speaking, as God’s representative, to cancel things. “In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, I command the spirits of idolatry - I command you to go”. Of course, the spirits you will command depend on the nature of the thing you’ve been dealing with - the unclean spirits. As the Holy Spirit leads you, you’ll command different spirits.
There’s one more part. This is what the person must fulfil. Let’s go back to Galatians 3:14-15. Here’s the last thing the person needs to do: they need to meditate, and renew in the word of God, and renew their thinking. They need to meditate in the word of God; and renew their thinking - this would lead to a change in how they behave or respond. There should be a shift in thinking, and a shift in behaving - both are needed. That will need to be specific, depending on what the person has been involved in.
In Galatians 3:14-15 – “He has redeemed us from the curse of the law”. So that is actually broken, but it’s important I don’t live anymore like a man under law. It’s important I live as a blessed person. That the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles through faith in Christ, and I receive the promise of the Spirit.
So what I need to do is to take the word of God, and begin to meditate in it. To meditate in God’s word, and relate it to the specific area I’ve been defeated in. I need to begin to picture this word as real in my life. I’m not earning blessing - Jesus earned the blessing. What I need to do, is believe that I am blessed; and think like I am blessed; and hold on to ‘I am blessed’; and then begin to live it out. So I need to renew how I think. This is where a lot of people get into difficulties - they’ve gone through ministry, but in their thinking, they still think like a cursed person; rather than think like a blessed person.
For example, suppose the issue was repeated cycles of financial failure. So when a person fails financially, they tend to believe in their heart: I’m no good with money; I’m a failure; there’s always a lack; something will always go wrong. They begin to think: failure; their heart becomes set on failure, expecting failure. They live and behave in ways that produce failure.
The person has come into a place now where they are free from that - they can change their believing. That means to meditate – Today I am blessed as I come in, I am blessed as I go out. God’s favour is on all that I do. Thank you that my finances are blessed. I now need to shift the way I behave, to live that out.
Before when I was cursed, living under bondage, I was afraid and fearful to give; or if I did give, it’s giving out of fear. You do this and you’ll be blessed; don’t do this and you’ll be cursed. I’m going to shift my thinking now - I am living in blessing. I have all I need. God supplies everything. I have no lack. Now, externally, I may not have changed, but internally I have to change. I’ve got to start to align with what God says is true. If I align internally, with faith, in what God says - eventually, externally everything will change as well.
In other words, I need to begin to meditate on God being an abundant God, and agree that I’ve got no lack. I need to be established in what God’s word says is true. I don’t want to go back into some old thing, where I’m thinking: if I tithe I’m blessed; if I don’t tithe, I’m cursed - then I’m living under the law again. A lot of Christians go back to the law. I need to stay in this place: I am blessed; and a blessed person is a generous person - who gives. I give because I’m blessed. I’m not giving because if I don’t, I’m afraid I’ll be cursed! I need to adjust my thinking to live how a blessed person lives.
What I have noticed with people is that they want you to come fix their problems with a prayer; but they often don’t want to follow on to know the Lord in the area of blessing, because this requires work and effort and responsibility. It requires that I begin to meditate in the word, and begin to align my life to agree with the word of God.
In other words, I need to follow on to know the Lord - I need to become a disciple of Christ. So there is no neutral ground: I’m either dropping back into the old way of living; or I’m turning to the new way of living - I need to hold that constantly.
So what do I do when I still feel the pressure on me leading me back to the old way? I need to declare strongly: the blood of Jesus has broken iniquity, I refuse to yield to it - I am blessed. I need to identify: I am a new person now.
So I begin to picture what that looks like. Thank you Lord I’m blessed in all that I do. Begin to see it, imagine it, and allow truth to be established. Then look at my life - am I living it out like a blessed person. What would that look like? You notice that it’s not passive. It’s not – I have these problems, please pray for me. No, I am a new creation in Christ - I am a blessed person. I have the Spirit of God, and I live in blessing as I set my mind on the Spirit, and not on the old ways of the flesh.
So the life of blessing is something given to me freely; but I need to believe and walk out of my life. That is where a lot of people don’t move on. They don’t realise that I have to tear down old thinking patterns as they come back into my mind. If any thoughts of poverty come, I have to pull them down quick; or I’ll start to feel lack, and I’ll start to respond in fear, and go back to how I used to live. Living in blessing, means living in faith - confident in what God says is true. It may take time to educate my heart to believe, that I have really changed.
So what happens in something like this: I’m living in this path of iniquity and cursing and bondage; then I come to Christ, and He says: now you are a blessed person. So I cut off all of those things; but I still at times keep thinking like the old way used to think. It’s like this pull towards the old way, all the time.
I need to speak: iniquity is broken, I am a blessed person. I’ve got to speak to this thing: that it’s broken by the blood of Jesus, and I live as a blessed person; and you meditate on that blessed life – God is with me, my needs are met, I have abundance, the Lord is my Sheppard and I shall not want. People know ‘the Lord is my Sheppard and I shall not want’; but what they don’t know in their heart is that: God Almighty is my friend, and there’s no area that I lack. It’s a heart place of confidence in God. So I’ve been shifted into blessing by Christ. Now I have to think and live like a blessed person.
When maybe there’s some pressure that comes financially - old thinking starts to return. I’ve got to constantly push against it, and redirect my attention: I have abundance in Christ - I am blessed. I look out, and it doesn’t look like I’m blessed; but don’t go back to old thinking, stay in the new. It’s an internal shift from iniquity, crookedness, demonic power, cursing Me and resisting Me; to now: confident in God, and living like a blessed person.
So if I live like a blessed person, then a blessed person is generous, confident. So the battle is now not a battle to make God bless me; it’s a battle to believe I’m blessed, and to be at rest - it’s an internal battle, and that’s the battle all believers have to face. When your heart becomes at rest, actually, God is blessing you. Each time your heart comes to rest, you’ve won the fight. This is an ongoing thing all your life.
People all love to just get ministry to get free; and there’s a place in the power that release can come; but they have to then change and live like a free person. Very soon they go back, and instead of living from the spirit and heart, they live out of the mind, and all its old opinions and thinking.
Question & Answer
Can you share any secrets to how to keep your sensitivity to the Holy Spirit?
I also mentioned that I would talk about praying. To maintain sensitivity to the Holy Spirit, it’s a daily life with Him. So that requires prayer; and it also requires that you act on the little impressions the Holy Spirit gives. The more you act on the little impressions, the more sensitive you become, and the more you seem to receive.
In Mark 4:24 Jesus said: “If you have ears to hear, and you respond, then more will be given.” Listening and responding to the Holy Spirit helps develop sensitivity. In my prayer time daily, I pray a number of things. One of the things I pray, is that I spend time in worshipping and just loving God for who He is. I try to keep extending that time out. I’m just meditating in His presence, speaking in tongues, and just loving on Him. I’ve learned that you can speak in tongues, sing with your mind, and picture Jesus - all at the same time. You actually have the power to give yourself to Him in worship.
Then I also take a time in my praying, probably about 20 minutes or so, I consciously yield differently parts of my life to Him, and begin to speak over my life, what I’m believing for God to do. I’ll just give you an example - I’ll just show you how I pray.
“Lord today I yield to You my hearing. I yield the ears of my inner man and outer man to You. Thank you Lord I hear Your voice clearly today. My heart is sensitive to Your voice. Lord I hear what You are saying to me, and I respond immediately. I thank you Lord that You’re giving me a hearing heart, to hear people, to ask questions that probe right to the root of the problems. Thank you Lord that You’re giving me an ability to see what the problem is - eyes to see, ears to hear, ability to discern exactly what is happening.”
What I’m doing is, I’m picturing and declaring the life I intend to live. Now there’s a basis for this. I’ll give you a scripture - 1 John 4:17 - “As He is, so are we in the world.” As He is now, we are in the world. I want you to think about that one. I don’t have to make myself become something; the Bible says – as He is, so am I.
So what is He like? Jesus hears the voice of the Father all the time. Jesus looks right into people’s hearts and knows what is going on. Lord as You are, so am I in this world. I hear the voice of my Father clearly. I instantly respond. I hear the voice of people’s hearts. I see right into their lives.
You say, well, but actually you’re not living that way. No, I am building the future I intend to have. I’m beginning to declare the operation of His life through me. As I meditate in who I am in Christ, and what I can do in Christ, and believe that, it shows up in my life. This is the blessed life.
People try to work hard, to be able to get God to help them to do stuff. What if you already have all, you are complete in Christ? Everything you need, you have? How about this one: “We have an anointing, and we know all things”. I don’t know all things. No, but I have an anointing that knows all things - I need to be more conscious of the anointing within.
So, reflective prayer, prayer of meditation and affirming the truth is crucial to building your life with God. So you don’t wait until you’re in a ministry situation to become sensitive; you develop it day by day. It’s something you build into your life, and it manifests through your life.
I wish I’d know those things years ago. It would’ve made my life a lot easier! I just didn’t know what to do to see the reality of God moving - it’s taken me years to find it, because people who do - don’t tell. They just do - and everyone thinks they’re wonderful. You know there’s a magician and he shows off the magician’s tricks? That’s what I want to be! Show what the tricks are; but it’s actually a lot easier than you realise, when you understand the dynamics of the spirit man, and you begin to understand: I already am that new creation man. I’m already complete in Christ. As He is, so am I in the world.
So what is He like? So I meditate on Him - that’s what I’m like. Oh, I see. I begin to see Him, and say: that’s who I am, that’s what I’m like. Doesn’t the Bible say: we’ve been conformed into the image of Jesus? Trouble is, you look in the mirror, and you see what you think you’re like. We should look in the spiritual mirror, and see Christ, and say: “Ah - that’s who I am, everyday I’m more and more like that”. So this is not like working hard to make something happen; it’s like training the heart to believe the truth, through meditation and confession: I’m in the presence of God.
The last thing on that, in Hebrews 5:14 it says: “Having our senses exercised to discern”. So, you develop sensitivity by practice; not by reading about it - you just have to try. So ask God to send you plenty of people to practise on. Just practise, until you get the feel of the flow of His anointing on you.
There’s a lady with a question. There is this particular person in authority, in the office, like a manager. When this person deals with her, he has this huge rage inside. He gets really mad, and there’s a lot of anger. She can sense there’s a power behind it. He has no problem with anyone else, just her! Every time she prays, or speaks in tongue, or tries to control the situation. Now, she’s asking: besides prayer, is there anything she can do to deal with this situation?
It’s most likely that there’s a spiritual reaction going on. That sometimes happens. If he’s nice to everyone, and to you he’s very angry- either there’s something in him reacting to you, or there’s ways you’re operating that are irritating him very much. We’ve always got to be open that perhaps God wants us to grow in the situation.
So Lord, help me to overcome evil with good. Romans 12: 21 I think, overcome evil with good, don’t be overcome by evil. I would, in prayer, hold him up before the Lord. Get a picture, see his face, and begin to speak and take authority over the spirits that are operating behind him. I presume this is an unsaved person - this is why it’s such a big reaction. So speak to the spirits. Picture a demonic spirit got a hold of him and is manipulating him. Speak to that spirit. Command it to release him.
In other words, in prayer, assert your authority spiritually over the driving power behind it. Decree that you already have authority over it. Don’t fight to get the authority. Speak from the place of authority: I tread on serpents and scorpions, over all power over the enemy. Nothing shall harm me. No weapon formed against me shall prosper.
In Jesus’ name, I bind that controlling spirit. It’s controlling through anger, and it’s very intimidating and frightening - it’s a spirit of witchcraft. Take authority. Bind the spirit. Forbid its operation against you. Decree its power broken. Hold a place of strength over the spirit, in your prayer time.
Then you ask God for grace. To be able to love this person, and to be able to relate and connect with them well. You have to, first of all, get your heart right; address the spiritual power; and then you can deal with the person.
When the person gets angry, there are some things you can do. Here’s one thing. The Bible says – a soft answer turns away anger. One thing I felt has helped me, is when someone is very angry with me - I would just, in a quiet voice, ask questions to clarify what they’re saying. In other words, I just act a little bit thick (stupid), and juts ask questions to understand what they’re saying. When you speak quietly, and just enquire what they’re saying - they have to calm down in order to answer the questions. That is just one strategy I found has helped.
Another strategy is to be a little bit more direct; one of trying to manage it. In other words, to say: excuse me, I notice you seem to be very upset or angry with me. In other words, you bring to the open what is hidden there. I notice you seem to be quite angry and upset; is there something I’ve done that has upset you that I can put right? I really want to help you and serve you; I don’t want to be doing things that upset you. Sometimes you get: ‘I’m not angry!’ So, there’s a variety of ways to manage someone who is difficult in the workplace, but you have to work with God to find the best way through it.
First you have to manage yourself; then deal with the Spirit world; then learn some skills in handling someone who is angry with you. Use a soft voice, enquiring, clarifying, get the expectations clear; and if need be, say: I’ve noticed this, is there something I’ve done that’s upset you so deeply? Sometimes, just that quiet voice enquiring after the person, just can have a good calming effect.
Another thing is acts of kindness towards that person - acts of kindness can soften that person’s heart as well - a gift or card at an appropriate time. There are many strategies you’ve got to find. In some places in the west, they would actually take a more confrontational line; and actually stand up and say: you have no right to speak to me in that tone. That kind of response tends to cause a huge conflict, and employment laws in New Zealand favour employees, so bosses have to be more careful. I don’t think it’s the case here! So, therefore you have to carefully work out how to handle it.
The last thing in your situation, is that after such an encounter, realise you’ve probably been quite knocked. As you turn away from the encounter, “Lord, I just forgive this man, release him right now. Lord I ask for love to come back to my heard. Amen”. So it becomes an opportunity for you to grow.
You notice it’s a mixture of spiritual and practical - both are needed to solve the problem. In military, first you win the battle in the air; then you can win it on the ground. There’s always a spiritual pressure.
The spirit of idolatry is very strong in their family, both on the father’s side and mother’s side. For quite a few of them, they are full time temple workers, and some of them are even in the committee of the Taoist association in Taiwan - so they are a very high level in Taiwan. Even when she prays very hard, she tries all kinds of anointing in the house; still she is troubled by those spirits. So what can she do to break the power of those evil spirits in the household?
The first thing to realise is that Christ has defeated them. So here’s what I’ve noticed happens in Taiwan: people become very impressed with the devil, very impressed with the idols, and very impressed with demons; in spite of the fact that Jesus has defeated them! So, this is an issue of what you believe in your heart.
Now, I’m not minimising the reality of demonic oppression, and the high level this would be around family members involved in the temple. What you must realise, is the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, the blood He shed, the blood of a spotless King, is more powerful than any of their offerings, or any of their gods.
For example, I want to Taichung, and there’s the big temple there. I noticed that before I went, everyone was like: ‘Oh Taichung!’ I was thinking: Jesus conquered the demon! But in the belief system, there was an ascribing of power to these things, which they did not have. I said: ‘Let me get to Taichung quickly’! Then I said when I got there: take me to this temple, let me see what’s going on. I refused to be intimidated, because I recognised that everyone was intimidated. When I got into the meeting of church workers, they were some of the most depressed people I’d ever seen. Many were sick, and many people had died! So you either look at it and say: “Woah, big devil”. Or, you say: “Wow! Guys, rise up - you need to believe Jesus!”
So I decided the first night I was there, I will preach on idolatry. I will be highly confrontational. Not only that, it was the feast of Matsu. So Matsu’s coming through the streets with thousands of people - so, I will preach against Matsu as well, and I did! It was a very difficult heavy atmosphere, very oppressed. I spoke and preached, not to the people, but beyond the people into the spirit world - declaring the authority of Jesus Christ, the power of the blood.
We had a great deliverance meeting that night, lots of people got set free - wonderful. Then I read the news the next morning. That night in the temple, the temple committee had voting - and a fight broke out, which became so violent that the police were called, and everyone was dispersed. I realised then, how important it is, never to be intimidated. Arise in who you are in Christ - the demons are terrified of you; don’t be intimidated by them.
I’ll give you a couple of stories. I had a girl who had been dedicated to Sai Baba; and in the home, there’s a huge alter to Sai Baba. So she got massive deliverance. “But I got home and my father has this huge alter to Sai Baba, right in the house!” I said, “Don’t worry about Sai Baba.” I said: “Your room, that’s where you belong. Dedicate your room, make an anointment with oil. Decree no spiritual oppression in this room. Invite the Holy Spirit in. This room is my sanctuary. Play worship music. The rest of the house belongs to your father. So this is what you do: you don’t criticise, you don’t say all kinds of things against what they do, you honour your parents. Every time you go past Sai Baba, then you pray in tongues; and you make a declaration – Sai Baba shall decrease, Jesus shall increase. Every time you walk past that idol, every time you walk past that alter: “Sai Baba decrease, Jesus increase”. Not a big prayer, very easy prayer.
I come back one year later, I said how are you getting on? “I’m a cell leader now, doing very well.” I remembered her, so I said, “How’s Sai Baba doing?” “Not so good.” She said, “We had some financial difficulty. We had to move out of our apartment to a smaller apartment where there’s no alter - only a picture.” “Ah, very good - Sai Baba is decreasing! Keep praying.” So next time I went back, I asked how are you doing? “Oh, I have 3 groups now.” “How’s Sai Baba doing?” “He’s not doing good at all. The picture fell off the wall and got broken. Now we have a smaller picture. Sai Baba is definitely decreasing; Jesus is increasing”.
The point is this: you must not be intimidated. You are in spiritual places in Christ, seated with Him. What does it mean to be seated with Him? He’s done all the work! If I’m in heavenly places, far above every principalities and power, there’s no devil up here, the devil’s down there. It’s all in my believing. I encourage you to meditate in scriptures, and establish clearly faith in your hearts, that these are nothing – nothing! That doesn’t happen straight away. It takes time to build in your heart, that you are joined to Christ, the demon conqueror. You have authority over these things. As you speak to those things, each one will be subdued and go.
So in your prayer, firstly you arise in spirit in a place of worship near God. Put on the armour of God. Speak in Jesus’ name. Stand as a representative of this family. Counsel this wickedness and idolatry. Bind each and every spirit power. In Jesus’ name, I forbid your operation against me, against my family. Jesus of Nazareth has conquered you already. You are defeated.
So don’t fight against them; stand and declare your victory against them - it’s a big difference. The wrestling is to establish what is true. What seems to be true is that they have all the power; but what is true, is that Jesus has all the power, and you have also - but you do not believe that yet, and that’s why this thing affects you. The struggle is not outside you, it’s within you, to come to a place of total confidence over these things.
Obviously it’s brought grief to you; obviously you’re distressed about this. It’s a great chance for you to become stronger. The Roman Caesar, his house was full of idols, but they had a worship meeting in his house. I’ve learned you must never be intimidated; intimidation is the big weapon the devil uses against us. So it says, beware, the devil prowls as a roaring lion - big idols, big temples, little Christian - seeking to devour you.
It says: resist, steadfast in faith. When you start to resist like that, there might be all kinds of upheaval take place. Just let that happen, it’s part of walking with Christ. In City Harvest Singapore, when the young people came to Christ, their idol-worshipping parents often beat them! I can remember when Pastor Yi Ping Tsang was 18, when many of them were very young in high school, they’d come back and they’d been beaten up by their parents - but almost all that generation have seen their parents saved.
Pastor Kong, I took the meeting where his parents got saved. You have to believe that what we have is stronger; even if temporarily it doesn’t appear to be so. So you have what appears to be true; you have what is true. This one seeks to intimidate you and capture your heart; you have to come back into the place with confidence in God.
Part of that will be that you will bring your grief and pain to Him, bring your fear to Him, and undoubtedly there’d be some anger in all of this. You need to bring that to Him too and forgive your parents. Ask God to give you great love for them. Choose to be the great representative. I understand this is not easy. But that’s the journey we have in Christ. We have our challenges.
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People trade with evil spirits for knowledge, power or protection and end up in bondage.Learn how to recognize occult bondage and how to set people free,
We’re going to carry on today on a topic – Freedom from the Occult. The pastor’s asked me to share on three specific topics over three days, so we’re able to develop it a bit more. Yesterday we looked at Generational Issues, Iniquity, and Curses – recognising their impact, and how to deal with them.
Today we want to talk about the occult. We want you to understand what it is, and what it’s doing to young people today. I want you to understand what divination and sorcery are, and to understand how you set people free from these things. I’m not claiming to be an expert at it, but I have some understanding because we’ve dealt with a lot of people in this area. So, we’re going to share today about this whole area, and give you an understanding of it.
The first thing to realise is that God has created us to be bonded. God’s design has created us to be bonded - to be attached. We are a spirit being, with a soul living in the body; and we have the capacity, by God, to attach. We have yearnings inside our heart that only really God can meet. So God’s design is that we become attached to Him; and that out of that attachment to Him, His nature, His life, flows.
For example, in 1 Corinthians 6:17, the Bible says: “He that is joined to the Lord is one spirit.” So, God has designed us to become attached to Him, bonded spirit to spirit; and from that bonding, a life would flow into the world. In other words, we’re designed to bring His kingdom into the world. So God’s design includes: 1) Relationship – intimate connection and bonding to Him; and 2) to Exercise Authority as His Representative - to advance His kingdom.
His original mandate to Adam and Eve, one part of the assignment He gave them was, He gave them a garden and He said: “I want you to guard and keep the garden”. So He gave them a Territory to rule over. He gave them Authority in that territory. So Adam was given Spiritual Authority to represent God.
He was given two commands related to the Garden of Eden. 1) Cultivate it; develop it, so it produces fruit. So God has called us to cultivate our territory - make it fruit-bearing for the kingdom. 2) Also to guard the territory - to protect it from an invader with destructive intent. So right at the very beginning, God designed us for relationship, for bonding with Him; and gave man authority to represent Him, and advance His kingdom in the earth. He gave a mandate to cultivate the garden, and protect it from invaders. We know what happened – Adam broke his relationship with God, and then lost his authority.
When he broke his relationship with God, he became vulnerable to living differently. We won’t track all of this, but we’ll just say this: that over the course of the first century or so of human history, demonic spirits began to invade the Earth and corrupt the culture. I won’t go into how this has happened, and how it affected the nations of the Earth. We’ll just focus on the occult, and what that’s about.
You need to understand that Jesus came to restore intimacy with God, and to give us back our authority; and give us a mandate again – be fruitful and go advance in the Earth. So becoming a Christian is actually about the connection to Christ and following Him; and it’s about being able to bring kingdom influence back into the Earth again. To act as God’s ambassador, and have authority over demonic spirits, and over the creation. We see that when we look at Jesus’ ministry, that He trained His disciples for authority over the demonic. Let me give you a couple of scriptures on that, and then we’ll start teaching about the occult.
First of all, we see in Mark 3:14-15 – “Then He appointed the twelve, that they might be with Him, and that He might send them out to: preach; and to have power to heal sicknesses; and to cast out demons.” So the great commission includes preaching the gospel, healing the sick, and authority over the evil spirits.
Have a look in Luke 10:17 - Then the seventy returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name.” Verse 19, notice this: “Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.” So, that word ‘Authority’, is the word ‘Exusia’ in Greek. It means: a legal delegated right to speak and act on behalf of God. Notice that Jesus is saying: I give you authority. He has the authority; we just act as His representative. The authority is not yours; it’s yours as a delegated authority. So we have an authority to represent Christ. Our authority comes out of connection with Christ.
Notice what He gives authority: He says: authority to trample, or literally crush under your feet, serpents and scorpions, and all the power of the enemy. So He uses two pictures to describe demonic spirits: the serpent; and the scorpion. They both inhabit the wilderness. The serpent bites, it releases toxins into the body to poison it. The scorpion has a sting that causes tremendous torment. It’s not clear, but it’s possible that He’s referring to two specific types of demonic entity. The serpent - demonic spirits; and the scorpions – angels, or angelic beings.
He says He gives you authority over all the power – that’s the word ‘Dunamis’. So, ‘Dunamis’ is the same word that’s used when it says “you shall receive power”. That word means ‘supernatural ability’. I think it’s important to realise this: that you have legal right over the supernatural ability and demonstrations of the devil; and nothing shall by any means hurt you. That’s a very good scripture to memorise - if you ever get into a deliverance situation which is a little bit intimidating, always remember – nothing shall in any way harm me.
We’re going to look now at the Occult. We’re going to refer to Deuteronomy 18. The Bible is not exactly clear where demonic spirits come from. So, it’s a little bit open to ideas or opinions about this. Some people think that they may be angels who fell. I’m not so sure about that, there’s nothing quite clear on it. The Bible’s not clear where they originate. They’re called ‘evil spirits’. So they’re definitely spirit beings, and they’re definitely evil in their intention.
As an aside, the Bible does tell us, it refers that in Genesis 6, that a certain group of angels abandoned the positioning God gave them, took on a human form, had sexual relationships with women, and that there were offspring off that called Nephilim. The Nephilim were extremely wild and fierce beings. It would seem that they corrupted the Earth. You may wish to search on the internet and find more information about these. Eventually, the destruction was so great that God destroyed the Earth with the flood. If these beings were part angel and part human, it’s quite possible these are the evil spirits that are actually in the Earth now, continuing to attack humans. So, I won’t go down that, it’s a very interesting area to explore. It helps you understand the whole number of things that remain otherwise hidden. So, we won’t worry about that, we’ll just say: there are evil spirits called demons.
What happens is that people in every culture are aware of the spirit world. It appears when you read books apart from the Bible, for example the book of Enoch, that there were a group of angels called watcher-angels who were assigned to instruct men. But the whole group of them abandoned their positions, corrupted the role God gave them, had sexual relationships with women, and began to teach people about the whole occult spirit dimension.
These angels God has held in judgment until the last days. It seems that it’s from the influence of these angels, that all of this teaching around the occult came into the nations, and spread through the Earth. One particular nation that had been filled with all this Occult activity was the land of Canaan. The nations that were in the land of Canaan were deeply involved in the occult; and with it, a whole range of perverse practices.
So in Deuteronomy 18:9, it says: “When you come into the land which the LORD your God is giving you, you shall not learn to follow the abominations of those nations.” So God is warning the people that the nation they’re about to go into, the nation of Canaan, was full of activities God calls ‘an abomination’. He’s referring to occult activities. The word occult means this: secret, covered, hidden.
So occult activity is: seeking knowledge or information from the spirit world; or seeking power from the spirit world; or protection from the spirit world. The two main streams of the occult are what’s called divination – seeking information from the spirit world; and sorcery – seeking power from the spirit world. Connected to this, of course, is idolatry. They are all integrated together, although each one is quite distinct.
The problem that people of God had was: the whole of the nations they came into were perverted by this demonic activity. In those days, there was no deliverance. So they needed to destroy the nations, because the people were demonically filled. So the word occult means to be covered or hidden; because usually, the power is secret. The source of the information or power is hidden.
People involved in the occult may be aware that they’re connecting with evil spirits. But they are deceived – they think they have power over the spirit, but the spirit has power over them. When people engage in the occult, they think the spirits are helping them; but in fact, now they’re gaining power over them. Eventually, they extract a price - all magic exacts a price - there is a price to be paid!
In the kingdom of God, the price is always upfront: pay first, benefits later. In the kingdom of darkness, it’s the other way round: benefit now, pay later - and you pay more than you think! That’s how the system works.
We see here that God lists a whole number of practices. These are associated either with idolatry or with the occult. One of the problems with the occult is that it is progressive, and it is addictive; and once people are in it, they find it extremely difficult to get out of it. It’s progressive; and it’s addictive.
Let’s have a look at some of the things that are in here. When the people of God went into the nations, they found them involved in idolatry and Spiritism. Let’s have a look at what it says (Deuteronomy 18:10 - 14): “There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, nor one who practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. For all who do these things are an abomination to the LORD, and because of these abominations, the LORD your God drives them out from before you. You shall be blameless before the LORD your God. For these nations, which you will dispossess, listened to soothsayers and diviners; but as for you, the LORD your God has not appointed such for you.”
This list here is not comprehensive; it’s just a list of some of the things they were doing. Every culture has their own variations of this, and every one of them has a spirit power behind it. As we look at these, we see a number of things. The first one they talk about was offering their children to idols. There was a particular god called Molech. He was a big brass god with arms reaching out. They would ignite fire on it, and heat it up until it was very hot. Then there would be drums playing and people shouting, and they would throw their children into Molech, where they’d be burned up. You’d understand this is a horrendous thing in God’s eyes. It indicates the nature of the demonic spirit that operates behind it. The desire is to steal the children. The activity today most like that is abortion - the same spirit operates behind it.
Notice there’ll not be anyone who practises witchcraft, soothsayer, interprets omens, or a sorcerer. So people were involved in a number or range of activities. For example, many of them were into astrology – looking at star signs. Let me give you just a brief explanation of that. There’s a book that explains the background to this: The Witness of the Stars by E. W. Bullinger. Let me just explain the whole issue of astrology.
The Bible says: the heavens declare his glory. So in Psalm 19 it talks about the heavens, and it talks about the word of God. Before the word of God was written, God revealed or spoke to... maybe it was Enoch, and He showed him a pattern for recording God’s history by looking at the stars. So they divided the stars into 12 different constellations or groups. And they ascribed to various star groups, a particular picture so it’s easier to remember. The stars were all given names, and each section of this described a part of God’s redemptive plan.
Starting with the woman; and the serpent; and then the fall of man, going right through to the coming of Jesus Christ overcoming the serpent, and establishing a rule. So each of the constellations, and even the names of the stars in it, were given as a message of encouragement; and a way of understanding the bigger picture - from creation to the return of Christ. The question is, where do you start? You notice the Sphinx has a picture of the woman’s head, and lion’s body. The story starts with the woman, starts with Virgo, and goes right through to Leo. It describes in the stars, God’s story of history, and the coming of the Son of man to redeem His death on the cross - everything is in that story.
So the stars have no power over people. It’s just God gave a way for people to pass on to their generations, the hope of the coming redeemer. Of course, over time, it became corrupted; and people began to believe that stars influenced the course of our lives - it’s a corruption of the truth. The truth is: God laid out some patterns, so people could know His plan for redemption. The message of the stars is the most amazing message! Many of the names of the stars have been forgotten. But those that have remained, all in them have a message - the heavens declare.
So, the whole area of astrology opens the door for people into the occult realm. It becomes addictive, because people are looking to some spiritual source in order to direct their lives. They are attaching to the wrong thing. God directs our lives. It’s God who has a plan for our lives, not the stars. I encourage you to read up on that and become equipped, because it will quite stun you how the message of the gospel is in the stars. At Psalm 19, it starts off ‘the heavens’, now we have the Bible, ‘the Word’. So the Word now gives us the plan of salvation.
You notice here that it talks about the whole realm of all of these areas. Notice divination or fortune telling, and magic - various kinds of magic. Overall, you can summarise the occult activity into two groups. The first one is divination.
Let’s have a look in Acts 16:16-18. We read here an example of a woman involved in divination. “Now it happened, as we went to prayer, that a certain slave girl possessed with a spirit of divination met us, who brought her masters much profit by fortune-telling. This girl followed Paul and us, and cried out, saying, “These men are the servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to us the way of salvation.” And this she did for many days. But Paul, greatly annoyed, turned and said to the spirit, “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.” - and he came out that very hour.”
So here is a woman who has a spirit of divination. Today you would call her a psychic – a person who tells things about your life, and foretells your future. Psychics are extremely popular today, but they operate in way counterfeit to the word of knowledge. The second thing you realise, is that this woman extracted money, in order for doing the fortune-telling; meaning that people paid to get their fortune told. When people paid to get their fortune told, they were entering into an agreement to trade with a demon - they were prostituting themselves.
The Bible tells us in Leviticus 20:2-6, God warns his people not to prostitute themselves with these demonic spirits. Let me read it for you, Leviticus 20:5-6, He said: “I will set My face against that man and against his family; and I will cut him off from his people, and all who prostitute themselves with him to commit harlotry with Molech. ‘And the person who turns to mediums and familiar spirits, to prostitute themselves with them, I will set My face against that person and cut him off from his people.”
Notice what God says in this verse: that anyone who’s involved with a medium or familiar spirits is prostituting themselves with them. What does that mean? They are paying money; and they are becoming bonded or attached. He uses the imagery of a prostitute, just as Paul did in 1 Corinthian 6. What it means is that you are selling yourself. You think you’re buying information; but actually you’re selling yourself! You’re being sold into bondage to the demonic spirit. So you need to understand then, that all involvement with the occult realm is a form of prostitution; and the person becomes joined to the demonic spirit. It has a right to access their lives.
A medium is someone who is a channel for a spirit. They usually go into a trance, and then spirit speaks through them, and gives information. In Leviticus 20:27, the Bible is very clear that a person who is involved with these demonic powers, there’s a death penalty for them.
Let’s go back to Acts 16 and now there’s a woman who has a spirit of divination. The region was a place known for divination and fortune-telling. It was a region where people came to get their fortune told – the whole area was filled with this. It was in a place in Greece, where what was called an oracle, was situated at Delphi. An oracle is a psychic. People would go and consult her to get information, and they would pay money. So the whole area was filled with psychic activity – divination.
It said this woman, a slave girl, was possessed with a spirit of divination. Again, the word possessed is a very bad translation. If you look up the original meaning, it means “to wear like a garment”. She was wearing the spirit like a garment. In other words, instead of being filled or clothed with the Holy Spirit, she’s clothed with the demonic spirit. The word there – spirit of divination - the word divination means literally ‘python’. That was the name of the area where the people worked – Putho I think it was called. So there was a spirit of a python wrapped around her, whispering in her ear. That spirit is called a familiar spirit. So a person operating as a medium or in fortune-telling or divination has a familiar spirit - a spirit that communicates with the person, speaks into their ear.
So what do these spirits know? Do they know your future? Again, the Bible’s not clear, but my conclusion is that they do not know your future - your future is hidden in God’s hands. I do believe they see what God is bringing to you - because they operate in the spirit world, they can see things. For example, when Daniel in Daniel 10 prayed, the angel was sent to him, but demonic spirits resisted it.
So demonic spirits are aware of you; they observe you and watch you. I believe it’s like a demonic internet, where everything is all connected. A familiar spirit can communicate information about you, because spirits have been watching you, and watching your family. It’s hard for us to get a hold of that, but we are under observation all the time. The spirits observe your behaviour and notice how predictable you are; and a demonic spirit can pass on information to the psychic, which may be quite correct, and counterfeit of the word of knowledge.
Many of these psychics operate in quite a strong and accurate word of knowledge, but the source of the information is a demonic spirit. I believe they give you information so you start to believe in them; and then when they begin to ascribe a future to you, if you agree with it, they are now empowered to bring or manipulate your life for that to happen. So involvement with the demonic realm will open the doorway for spirits to enter you. You literally give a legal right for the demon to control your life.
Notice there that the girl had a spirit of divination. Notice in verse 17, she cried out saying: these men are servants of the Most High God, who proclaimed to us the way of salvation. Was this correct? Yes it was. Did most people realise that? No they didn’t.
So she’s calling this out, and the effect of it was that Paul felt quite grieved, or irritated, or there was a struggle in his ministry because of her. So this spirit was actually creating difficulties for him. It said: she did this for many days, until finally he confronted the spirit. Once he confronted the spirit, it triggered off a riot in the area, and he was thrown in jail!
So divination means: consulting evil spirits for hidden knowledge. There are a whole range of practices of divination. It seems that Chinese people are addicted to it - just want to know about the future; and rather than walk by faith with God and trust him, they try to find out information from evil spirits. Now I know there are heaps of different activities, so I’ll just give a few of them: Consulting the fortune-telling or a psychic; Consulting an Ouija board, where they have letters around and they put a glass in the centre and they ask questions - that’s consulting a familiar spirit. Going to a medium – that’s a person who goes into a trance, and the spirit begins to speak through them. Astrology; Tarot cards; Numerology; Horoscopes; some people go into pendulum-swinging. Every culture has their own forms of these things - the water divination.
The key question to ask is: what is the source of the power. If a spiritual power is operating, there’s a spiritual source. What is the source of the power? Another type of divination is séances – calling up spirits. I’m sure that in your culture, you’ve got all manner of different kinds of ways this is done; but in the end, the key question is this – what is the source of the information?
If the source is evil, the influence will be evil also, and God forbids us to be involved in these things. So sometimes people reach out into this realm of divination - just curious, but then that opens up a whole realm. Unfortunately, many of the movies recently, have been filled with all kinds of things of divination. The Harry Potter movies, for example, are full of divination – all kinds of different forms of it. I think you’ll find, when you look, that many of these are drawn from some things which actually exist; and they can be very seductive, because you have the thought of getting secret information- find out about your future – will I be blessed, will I prosper? People want to know those things; but if we consult with the demon, he has a legal right to access our lives.
The Bible says: when you’re involved in divination, you prostitute yourself with an evil spirit, and you defile yourself. So any person involved in fortune-telling has become defiled; and they would need to renounce the words spoken over them, and the evil spirits behind them. You can’t walk with God, and hold on to what the demons have been saying.
So core foundations to being set free from divination would be: Repentance – turning away from it; Confession of sin – because it’s a sin, an abomination to God. It would also involved renouncing attachment to the spirit, and any words they had been given from these demonic spirits. You can’t serve two masters. There’s no ground for holding on. We’re either going to put our life in the Lord’s hands, and respond to His leadership, and His promise of guiding us; or we consult these others. If we consult the demonic realm, we’re slowly drawn into darkness. People get quite addicted, and they can’t make decisions, or begin a day, without consulting their horoscope, or reaching out to these diviners.
The last thing you notice is that, when the demon came out, the girl had no power to do this again - the source of the information was an evil spirit. I remember someone coming up to me after church one day, and they said: can you pray for my friend? I said: “Why’s that?” She said “Well, he’s in a bit of a mess, and he’s going to see a fortune-teller”. I said, “Yes, bring him to me”. I said, “I understand you’re going to see a fortune-teller”. He said: “Yes”. I said: “Well, God knows your future. You should learn to look to Him.” I said, “Let me pray for you”, and I asked God to give me a clear, sharp, accurate prophetic word, and I delivered this to him. And he left, saying thank you. I knew he was going to go to the fortune-teller, so I prayed a simple prayer: “Lord I know he’s going to the fortune-teller - turn her counsel to confusion.” So he comes back a week later, came up, and gave his heart to Christ. He said, “Oh you know, I went to that fortune-teller”. I said: “Yeah, how did it go?” He said: “That was a waste of money”. I said: “How much did you pay?” He said: “I paid 50 dollars! What she told me was a lot of nonsense - very confusing.” And he came to Christ.
So, you must learn to lean into the flow of revelation yourself. We cannot abandon the supernatural realm, and leave it for the psychics. We need to press in, and develop the flow of revelation in our own life - words of knowledge and prophetic flow. These are gifts God has given the church. The psychics are substitutes. The real thing, is the gift of the Holy Spirit. It’s a reproach to the church that some of these psychics have become so good, and so influential; but the church struggles to just embrace simple things of the spirit world.
The next area we want to look into is the area of Sorcery. Sorcery is a major aspect of the whole occult dimension. Let’s have a look in the Old Testament – Exodus 7:11. Sorcery is the pursuit of power - power obtained from evil spirits. Sorcery is the pursuit of power from evil spirits - power over people or circumstances. So it’s a pursuit of power; and sorcery involves engaging evil spirits, and drawing supernatural power into the Earth. We’re going to look at an example in the Old Testament, then in the New Testament.
Exodus 7:10: “So Moses and Aaron went in to Pharaoh; and did just as the LORD commanded. Aaron cast down his rod before Pharaoh and his servants, and it became a serpent.”
Now that is pretty spectacular! Imagine if I brought a stick in here, threw it on the ground, and it turned into a snake - you’d all be screaming and yelling and jumping for that door. That is really scary! But look at what these sorcerers did - Exodus 7:11 – “But Pharaoh also called the wise men and the Sorcerers, the magicians of Egypt, and they also did the same with their rods.” It says: they did in the same manner with their enchantments, or their secret arts. Notice that term for the occult: Secret Arts.
Exodus 7:12 – “For every man threw down his rod and they became serpents.” So, you notice now, Aaron has thrown down Moses’ rod, and now there’s a serpent. The Pharaoh isn’t fazed, he says: “Hey”, brings in his own sorcerers, and they threw down their rods, which turned into serpents. Now that is really scary stuff. Now we’ve got God’s serpent, and the other serpents. I think at this stage, we’d all be running out the door, but Moses’ serpent ate up the other serpents. Then he picked it up, and it became a stick again.
Now this is a display of supernatural power. Notice that God’s power in this area was copied - the Sorcerers were also able to do this. They did it because of the connection they had to the occult realm. So when we’re talking about sorcerers, we’re talking about real power, demonic power. People connected to evil spirits, who have a range of powers. When you go to many cultures, you will experience and see those things. Especially if you go to primitive areas, because you’ll see in a moment, sorcerers want power; not only over people, but also control over areas.
So there are three times when the magicians of Egypt copied the miracles of God. Verse 22: The magicians of Egypt did the same with their enchantments or secret arts; they caused the water to become blood. Verse 7 of chapter 8, the magicians did so with their secret arts, and brought up frogs on the lands of Egypt.
I want you to get the picture here, what they did. God’s battle was with the gods of Egypt. The real conflict was between who the real God is; and who are the false gods. All of these plagues were to confront the gods the Egyptians worshipped. These sorcerers were able to copy the first three miracles. Notice what they were able to do – change a stick into a snake - that’s quite scary. They were able to change water into blood - that’s scary. They were able to call frogs up onto the land. So they had power over objects; and over animals - they could transform them.
So when you begin to look at what goes on in the occult realm in many parts of the world, you find in cultures, people are terrified of the sorcerers, because of the power that they have; which is not their power, it is demonic power. So in some cultures, they can make themselves invisible. They can change their shape – turn into an animal.
Now you start to look at some of these movies that are coming out – this is all putting into a Hollywood-form, what actually is just sorcery. So many of the things that come out of those movies find their origins in the realms of sorcery - people able to transport themselves from one place to another – just vanish and turn up somewhere else - or change and become an animal. The forms that these people have are quite significant. So when you are looking in some of the movies, they’re drawn from some real things. They just put them in a Hollywood form that makes it attractive to people. The powers are very real, and people get seduced by them, controlled by them, and then destroyed by them.
Have a look in Acts 13. Sorcerers like to get near people who have power. So in Acts 13:6 it says: “when they had gone through the island of Paphos, they found a certain sorcerer, a false prophet, a Jew whose name was Bar-Jesus, or son of Jesus.” He’s literally an open gate into hell. Acts 13:7 – 8: “He was with the proconsul, Sergius Paulus, an intelligent man. This man called for Barnabas and Saul, and sought to hear the word of God. But Elymas the sorcerer (for so his name is translated) withstood them, seeking to turn the proconsul away from the faith.”
So this sorcerer is like an open gate of hell. He is exercising demonic power, trying to influence the roman proconsul. He’s operating in magic, operating in sorcery, and he was trying to resist the gospel spreading. Paul’s way of dealing with it, was to bring the power of God around the mind, and put him into darkness. Notice in verse 11: “the hand of the Lord will be on you, you shall be blind not seeing the sun. Immediately a mist fell of him and he could not see”. It was the demonstration of the power of God that broke the hold of that sorcerer, and opened up the proconsul to believe. Paul demonstrated as Moses did, the power of God is superior to all of these powers.
Let’s have another look at another scripture in Acts 8:9-11 – “But there was a certain man called Simon, who previously practiced sorcery in the city, and astonished the people of Samaria, claiming that he was someone great, to whom they all gave heed, from the least to the greatest, saying: “This man is the great power of God.” And they heeded him, because he had astonished them with his sorceries for a long time.”
You notice here, that here is a man who is practicing sorcery, and he has a huge influence over people. Literally, people have come under his spell. They’ve come under his influence, and his influence is demonic.
Notice an interesting thing that the Bible uses the language like this: ‘he projected that he was a very important person’. So you’ll find people involved in sorcery are very self-oriented, and they project out their own importance - there’s a huge issue of self-importance.
Of course, when Paul came, he was converted and baptised, and then he saw the power the apostles had, and he wanted that power. So he offered them money to get the power, because that’s how he thought: you use money to get power. See, verse 19: “Give me this power also, that anyone on whom I lay hands may receive the Holy Spirit.” So he had a passion for power, most likely driven by bitterness inside him. You notice there, he’s seeking power.
Peter said: “Your money perish with you, because you thought that the gift of God could be purchased with money! You have neither part nor portion in this matter, for your heart is not right in the sight of God. Repent therefore of this your wickedness, and pray God may forgive the thought of your heart; for I see that you are poisoned by bitterness, and bound by iniquity.”
You see that Simon is still thinking in the old way. He understood spiritual trading – you pay a price to get the power. You always pay a price to get the power. So he thought: I can pay a price, and you’ll give me the power. Peter refuses to be bought, and confronts the root issue, which is this: bitterness in his heart. He was a very rejected and bitter person - that’s why he sought the power. Not only that, there was a selfish ambition – he said: “you’re full or bound by iniquity”, which means there’s crookedness in your life that you’re twisted up in.
So, sorcery is very real, the power behind it is demonic. People who are involved in that prostitute themselves with evil spirits. We notice it’s addictive and it’s progressive.
So what are some of the ways that people are involved in sorcery today? One of them is the practicing of magic – casting spells. Anyone who enters into any kind of arrangement with evil spirits, in order to gain power, is opening themselves up to evil spirits. Now, inevitably, in the occult, spiritual trading takes place. In other words, there is a sacrifice of something.
When people get involved in this area, they always make agreements with evil spirits. There’s an invitation to the spirit to come into their life; there is an exchange of some kind, and sometimes blood is shed. We need to just be aware of this, when we’re working with people; because if blood is shed, this is another level of connection to the demonic spirit. There’s a reason for that, I’ll come back to later.
Let’s have a look – magic, practicing magic. Now, I’m not talking about the magician slight-of-hand, card-trick kind of thing. That’s just all a trick to make you think one thing, when something else is happening. We’re talking about real spiritual power that causes influence in the world, and on people. So, one doorway to the occult in this area is practicing magic.
A second common one is fantasy computer games. Many of the computer games represent sorcery as entertainment. Some computer games involve role-playing, where you take on a new identity - you become a different person online. In some games, people take on the identity of a sorcerer. Then they begin to cast spells, and battle various people to gain more power - and it can become addictive.
In Matthew 5, Jesus said: “If you look on a woman to lust after her, you have committed adultery”. Notice that adultery, as a sin, begins in the heart. So a person can have the sin of adultery, but no physical act has taken place. Matthew 5 makes that very clear, in Matthew 5:28 – “But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” That means that sin begins in the heart, with your imagination and desire.
I felt the Lord show me, that when people are involved in computer games like this, for extended periods of time - the imagination, coupled with desire for power, can open the door for sorcery to enter. So what was initially a little bit of entertainment, becomes an open door for sorcery spirits - this creates a problem. Now, can you turn on and play the game and get demonised? I think that: not initially, but over time, you will become demonised. I think probably the best way to recognise that, is if you become addicted to the game.
I had word of knowledge of a young man in City Harvest, that he was addicted to the game - couldn’t get it out of his mind, kept being drawn back to the game. So the guy came up, and we found the game was World of Warcraft, and he indicated the name of the character he played. When I asked him to renounce the game, and renounce the identity of this sorcerer; as we prayed, the spirit of sorcery manifested on his face, and he fell, yelling on the ground. He had opened his life to a spirit of sorcery while he was playing these games! We had an alter call, and nearly 200 people came up, and there was massive deliverance.
This is amazing! People at Bible school learning about God, but privately practicing sorcery. What it alerts us to, is the way it is disguising itself, and become acceptable. You understand now, that this is still a problem. It’s an old problem in a new form.
Another doorway to the Occult is the area of addictive drugs. The word sorcerer in the New Testament is the word ‘Pharmakeia’ from which we get the word ‘pharmacy’. So certain drugs put people in an altered state, and people can become addicted to drugs because of pain in their lives. Rather than resolve the root cause of the pain, they medicate it. So, Pharmakeia – taking drugs, can be an addictive substitute for relationship with God, and proper resolution of issues.
It’s quite interesting that when people get onto some of these drugs, the hallucinations they have can be quite similar. I went to pray for one man, and he was hallucinating under prescription medicine, but he had a history of alcohol and drug addiction. Although he’d given it up, when he got on those pain-killers, he started to hallucinate. He was seeing spiders literally coming out of the walls at him. When we came against the spirit of sorcery and cast it out, the hallucination stopped, and all the pain in his body left as well. So, addictive drugs can open the doorway to sorcery.
Related to that, there’s another form of this. What’s happening in many places in the Western world, and possibly here too, is the use of drugs to render a woman unconscious; so a man can have sex with her, without her realising it. They were called ‘date-rape’ drugs. When the person comes under the influence of the drug, they are literally unable to respond, or unable to control their life, and I believe a spirit of sorcery is involved behind that.
I had a person come to me who said: “I think this is what’s happened to me”. What happened was that I prayed for this girl, and when I prayed for her, I commanded the spirit of sorcery to leave her. In other words, the power the man had bought over her life, by using the drugs - and there was a massive manifestation.
Another example of that, I found in Malaysia. I prayed for a woman, and she was bleeding from her womb. Her belly was very swollen; and it turns out, they told me, she had been charmed. I said: “What do you mean, charmed?” And she said: “Well, there was this man, and he consulted with a evil spirit; and made up this powder, which he dedicated to the evil spirit.
He took the powder, and went knocking on this lady’s door. When she opened the door, he blew the powder in her face. Immediately, she went under the influence of the spirit, and then he sexually violated her, and then left her. When she came out of the trance, or out of the spell, she had this problem that her belly began to swell, and she was bleeding. There was no way to stop it. So we prayed for her, broke the attachment to this man, and commanded the spirit of sorcery to go - and she was healed.
No doubt there are other forms of sorcery. For example, martial arts can open the door to spirits of sorcery. In Mark 5:4, the man had unusual strength – he could break chains, and there was demonic power behind it. So, martial arts - now, you get into trouble the moment you start to talk about some of these areas. I had a son who wanted to get into martial arts, so I talked to him about the doorway to the demonic. I said, “It will start as physical exercises, and it will move to where you have to meditate, in order to open your life for greater power. At that point, if you do that, you’ll be demonised. The power you receive will be a demonic power.” I said: “You’ll notice that at some point, the instructor will give away this aspect of it.” So, he went on for a while, and got involved in doing this martial arts training. Eventually it came to the point where this was exactly what was the issue. At that point, he left and gave it up. So, martial arts can lead towards meditation, which opens the door for spirits.
We have to be aware and alert to various doorways for these spirits to come in. Some forms of music can open up the doorway for demonic spirits. Quite interesting, in the mass murders at the school in USA in Columbine, Columbine massacre, that there were two things that were involved there, that were part of what happened. 1) The guys were on the drug Prozac. 2) They were into heavy music, with these horrendous lyrics and driving beat that shifted them, and opened them up to spirits. That’s not the only reason, but we need to be aware that some forms of heavy music can open the door to demonic spirits.
Idolatry can open the door to demonic spirits. In 1 Corinthians 10:12-21, things the gentiles sacrificed, they sacrificed to demons and not to God. So idolatry opens the door for demons; as does dedication to a temple or an idol.
I want to look just briefly at the issue of blood. Sometimes you’ll find that when you’re dealing with people involved in the occult, then there is blood involved. You need to be alert for this one. In Leviticus 17:14, the Bible says: the life is in the blood. Demonic spirits seek to bring people into agreements, and they seek to engage in trading. One way they do it is by blood covenants. Blood covenants originated with God, and the devil realises the power of this – the powers of alters and sacrifice – so he tries to encourage people to build alters, or to make sacrifices.
In 2 Kings 3:27, Israel was in a place of great victory, pursuing an enemy army, and then suddenly the battle totally turned. The king that they were facing, offered his son as a sacrifice on the wall of the city. The Bible says: there was great indignation against Israel. In other words, he invoked spiritual powers, because of the shedding of the blood of his own son. So, when you are dealing with people involved in the Occult, enquire whether they’ve made any blood covenants, shed any blood, invited demons and cut themselves. Just enquire whether there’s any bloodshed, because that needs to be clearly broken.
The Bible tells us in Colossians 1:14 “We are redeemed by the blood of Jesus”. In other words, the blood of Jesus has more power than any other offering. In 1 Peter 1:18 “we are redeemed by the precious blood of Jesus”. But we need to apply the blood of Jesus, and what it has done. So, putting it in a very simple basis - life is in the blood. When blood is shed, covenants are formed. God’s plan is we’re in covenant with Him through the blood of Jesus. Demons want us to covenant with them, through our own blood.
We prayed for someone just recently, and her blood was taken by her parents, and then taken to the temple, and dedicated to the idol. She didn’t go there, but her blood went there. So, we need to just be aware of these kinds of things, and understand the great power released by blood. The blood of Jesus releases great power. So in various parts of the world, those involved in sorcery will make offerings, and they will shed blood - the blood of animals, or the blood of human beings - in order to draw supernatural power around their life.
Just be aware when you’re dealing with the occult, to enquire how the connection was formed. Whether there was blood involved, or sacrifice involved. You’d be surprised how many young people have made blood covenants with demons; and they need to renounce the agreement and the shedding of their blood.
I want to move on a bit now. I want to give you a number of symptoms of people who are under occult oppression. In other words, what would we look for? What are some of the evidence? It helps if you can recognise that. Usually, they’re reasonably self-evident. For example: 1) Unexplained noises at night; unexplained noises in the house - that’s usually an occult activity. 2) Hearing voices – the person’s hearing voices talking to them - that’s usually evidence of demonic activity. 3) Objects moving unexpectedly - that’s scary. 4) Doors opening and shutting. 5) Lights going on and off. It’s quite scary stuff really. 6) The appearance of spirit beings. When spirit beings appear, that can be a major source of problem. 7) Physical sensations of being sexually molested, but there’s no one there.
Now this one’s more common than you think as well. There are particular spirits that sexually molest women and men. The sexual demon that molests women is called the Incubus spirit; the one that molests men is the Succubus spirit. These are sexual demons, occultic demons, and they will molest people at night - possibly even pinning them on the bed, and the person may go through all the feelings and sensations of being molested or raped - but there’s no one there to see. That is a demonic spirit. Of course, people are ashamed to tell about it, because they feel they won’t be believed. So you need to be alert, if you hear anything like that, or sense anything like that - just enquire of what has been happening, and be willing to believe the person if they tell you: this is what is happening to me.
A person having tormenting sexual thoughts - that can be an occultic demon e.g. extreme heaviness and oppression; or agitation in meetings where anointing is flowing; inability to focus on spiritual things; literally confusion. These are some symptoms that show occultic activities are taking place, so we need to be able to look and ask: what’s happening in your life. There may be a whole number of doorways that people have gone in. We’re going to have to then look at how we’re going to minister to people. What are the steps in setting people free?
First thing is: we need to ask the Holy Spirit to help us. We need Him to expose the roots. We need power from Him. 1) Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal the roots - this is totally dependent on the Holy Spirit. 2) Diagnosis – we need to find out what the problem is.
You have to ask questions. What is your problem? How does it affect you? When did it start? That tells us whether it could be a generational problem. What happened at that time when it started? Was it something you did, or was it something that happened in your family? Those are sorts of the ways I would look and ask. I’m looking – did you do something that opened the door; did someone do something to you that opened the door; or did this come from the family. The person must be open and honest. So we have to find out what the real problem is. Have you opened the door to evil spirits; and has it been opened in your family by someone else?
I’ll just give you an example. I had a woman call me, whose house was haunted. “Please come and fix the haunted house”. So I went there, and the woman and her boyfriend, and her daughter and boyfriend, were all in the house. They were all very afraid - they said: “Our house is haunted. There are noises and things. We can’t sleep and we’re frightened”. As I began to talk with them, I could hear the noises. “Wow. Can you hear this?” I said: “Yeah I know there’re things there - they’ll go soon. I want to know how they got here.”
So I started to ask questions. In finding the root of problems, you have to ask questions - and listen - then ask more questions. Develop a listening attitude. Listening to the people, and listening to the Holy Spirit - because He’ll show you where to ask. You’ll have a thought come, to ask something.
So this is how I did it, because I knew what the problem was – there were ghosts in the house, I said: “How long has it been like this?” “A while, it was two weeks”. “What happened two weeks ago?” “I don’t know”. Then they tell me “Oh yes, my daughter and her boyfriend came to live here”. So I get this clear: “Before they came, no problems at all?” “That’s correct”. “After they came, now the problem’s here?” “Correct”. “Therefore the boy and the girl have brought the problem to the house”. Quite simple - not hard to ask these questions.
So I said to the two of them: “Tell me this, before you came here and had this problem here, did you have this problem in your house?” Yes they did. So you brought it with you then. “Yes we must have”. “So it came with one of you - we can find out who it came with”. I said: “Was it in the house where you previously lived?” “No it wasn’t”.
Let’s have a look again. So I asked them: “Has either of you been involved in the occult?” “No.” “No.” I said: “Has either of you slept with someone involved in the occult?” The girl said: “That was me - it was my last boyfriend.” I said: “Did that relationship end badly?” She said: “Yes.” “Did he curse you?” She said: “Yes.”
I said: “Well, by sexual relationship with that man, you become one with him, so the demon had every right to enter your life. As a result of sexual relationship, and him cursing you, the demon has come to you, has come into your house - and you brought it to this house. So when you leave, it will go - it’s with you.” This was a shock! She said: “All they could think of was there’s a ghost in this house. They didn’t think of finding: if there’s a ghost there, how did he get to be there.” I said: “Your sin has opened the door for the spirit.”
So we led them all to the Lord, renounced the relationship and agreement with the spirit, commanded them to leave, and the house came to rest - and they came to rest, and they moved back to their own place again. It was easier to blame the house of being haunted, than to take ownership of the problem. Do houses get haunted? Yes they do, and usually someone has invited the spirit in- either they were involved in the occult, or some form of Spiritism; or there was a tragedy in the house - otherwise it wouldn’t be there.
So, you see then you’ve got to actually diagnose the root of the problem. If you find the person has been involved in some form of sorcery or occultic activity - and there’s just so many of them - you’ve got to enquire, and ask the Holy Spirit to help you locate the root. So asking questions like: when did it first start; and what happened about that time; can draw out this issue.
So I begin to identify: is this generational; or is this personal – they did something themselves. You got to really get this clear: we’re diagnosing what the cause of the demon being there is.
Then, step 3: you need to explain to them what Christ has done. Briefly explain what Christ has done. They need to understand the power of the blood of Jesus, the power of God - He has authority over all these demons. It doesn’t need to be long, but you need to present Jesus to them. Jesus is the deliverer; Jesus is the conqueror of demons - share a little bit like I just did with you about the scripture.
Then you need to explain their part in getting free - explain to them what they must do. Explain their part, and their part involves: you need to repent, and confess the sin. Go through the foundations - you have to deal with your sin. You’ve invited the spirits in, and you must confess, and ask Jesus to forgive you.
Secondly, you must receive forgiveness; and release forgiveness to others. Often, the reason people are in the occult, is because of deep bitterness - broken family relationships, painful relationships, bitterness and anger and rejection in the heart. Often, this is the root, which caused them to go into the occult - you need to pull all of that stuff up. Receive forgiveness, and release forgiveness.
Thirdly, they must renounce all agreements with evil spirits. To renounce means to cancel - speak words that cancel the agreement. They invited the spirit in, now they need to tell it to go. They came into agreement with the spirit - break the agreement. Words are important. Not just lip the words – saying words, but they must actually mean the words.
We tell them: this is your part - if you hold on to the sin, you cannot be free. You hold on to unforgiveness - you’ll stay in bondage. If you won’t stand against the devil, he will hold on to you. You can share with them James 4:7 – “Therefore submit to God; resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”
Submitting to God is repenting, and releasing forgiveness. It’s choosing to reach out to God as the source of your power, not the devil. So we need to explain their part; and that when we pray for them, they must actively resist the spirits. So that’s the preparing the person.
Explain to them your part, explain what you will do, help them understand what ministry will be like. I will lead you in a prayer, you will follow me. When we get to the end of the prayer, I will break the bondages, and command the spirits. I won’t be speaking to you; I’ll be speaking to the demons. I don’t want you to be praying. I want you just to resist, and when I command the spirits, maybe cough or breathe heavily.
So, we’ve got now the steps involved in this - they’re quite simple and quite logical. Now, you need to lead them through a prayer. So the prayer would be quite a simple prayer. Here’s what it would be made up with - here are the parts of the prayer. 1) Confession of faith in Christ. 2) Renouncing all agreements with the evil spirits. 3) Asking God to forgive them. Confessing the sin, and asking for forgiveness, receiving the forgiveness. 4) They need to release forgiveness to others; as often, their journey into the occult came out of bitterness and hurt. 5) They must reach out to Jesus, and actively resist the devil.
When you are doing these prayers and renouncing, just remember whether there are covenants or agreements that need to be broken - they would’ve told you by this point. Second thing to look at too, is to make sure they’re not wearing objects associated with the occult around their wrist or around their neck - it can just be a hindrance to being set free. We’ve had some people, the moment they took off the object; they could be delivered straight away.
Now, the exact words, and the exact order, are not important. Stay listening to the Holy Spirit as you pray. Now I’ll lead you through a prayer, just to show what it might look like. It’s just basically made up of those various parts. I get in the Spirit, and follow the flow of the Spirit, when I pray. So, you may change the wording a little bit, or change the order.
This is how I might lead them. Remember the first phase? The confession of faith. This is important, because basically they’re saying: “I’m standing on the Lord’s side, and I’m holding on and believing in Him, and what He’s done.” It’s really important to speak those words.
It goes something like this: “Father in Heaven, I come to you in Jesus’ name. I confess Jesus Christ is my Saviour and Lord. I’m redeemed by the blood of Jesus, from every curse, every evil spirit, all occult powers. I am redeemed, I belong to Jesus.” Does it make sense to you what I’ve just prayed? It’s identifying with Jesus.
Second thing then, maybe we’ll say something like this: “Lord I confess I’ve been involved in these activities. I confess my family have been involved in these activities. I ask you to forgive them. I receive your forgiveness. From my heart, I forgive those who’ve hurt me. Especially, forgive my father and my mother.
I renounce now, all agreements I have made with evil spirits. I renounce all invitations. I renounce them and cancel them. I renounce any agreement I made with blood. I renounce it and cancel it. I renounce all words spoken over me by psychics. I renounce them, and cancel them. I renounce all generational curses, and agreements with evil spirits, that my family have made.”
Can you see, I’ve tried to incorporate into that prayer, any agreements that were made to just cancel them. So how do you know what to pray? When you did the diagnosis, you should’ve been able to establish that. Just jot down these things; and when you’re praying, you follow those things.
“Now Lord, I reach out to You, I ask You to set me free. Satan, go from my life. In Jesus’ name” Ok? Then you’ve done it. Now, they may manifest while you’re leading them in the prayer. Stay in charge, don’t be intimidated - just command the spirit to be still and quiet, and continue with the process.
Now, the next phase of it is to exercise your authority, and begin the deliverance. You have to exercise your authority. Remember what we realised, that God has given us authority to tread on serpents and scorpions. So, this is what you need to do: first of all, break the agreements. Imagine it like this: words spoken; and you’re cancelling the words. Or imagine it as a demonic cord; and you are cutting the cords.
“In Jesus’ name, I break the generational agreements with evil spirits. I break them. I break agreements that have brought bondage into this family. I break the blood covenant you made, inviting that demon into your life. I break the words spoken over you, giving a false destiny. I break all attachments to these evil spirits.”
I haven’t gotten the wording exact every time, but I’ve got the flow of what needs to happen. You may find that the Holy Spirit gives you things to break as you pray. Just be willing to give it a go - just try it. Don’t lean on a method! Get the picture of how it takes place, the principles and the process; but lean into the Holy Spirit to help you with the language of it. If it helps you, have a little list written out. It if helps you, write a prayer out. Then, in “Jesus’ name, I break this bondage etc…”
Number 2, then begin to command the spirits. Speak directly into the person, and command the spirits to come out. Just keep pressure on. Speak from inside your spirit. Rise up inside; speak and command it to go. That’s why you develop your spirit-man, so you carry strength inside you for this work.
Now, it’s not how loud you pray; it’s praying with faith. So, picture yourself and you’re speaking like you’re speaking into a cave, to an animal in there. “I command you to come out.” Your attention focus – you’re commanding the spirit to come out.
Just notice any changes that take place. Sometimes, nothing happens, but as you keep the pressure up, next thing you see, it starts to come up. I have found sometimes it helps if I name the spirits. So when I’m praying, I have observed: if nothing’s happened, and I start to name spirits, something starts to happen. What would you be praying for? You might be praying: spirit of divination, spirit of sorcery, spirit of witchcraft, spirit of bitterness, spirit of death, spirits of hatred - all of those things could be there. Speak into those things, command them to go. Push against them from within your spirit, all the time leaning on the Holy Spirit to help you.
Now, sometimes they will manifest, and there are many forms that can take place - it can be wild, screaming. Now, if the person just keeps screaming, it’s almost certain no deliverance will happen. It’s like a show, so, don’t keep it up. You’ve actually got to get the person to stop screaming, and start resisting. Again, be sensitive to the Holy Spirit in this. If the person keeps screaming, I just, in the end, say: “Listen, stop. Stop. Cooperate with me. Resist the spirit.”
So, they may start screaming, they may start to shake. They may get built up rage, and get very violent. Don’t be afraid. Their eyes may flare and glare at you - in that case, rise up and look them in the eye - stare them down. Let them see your eyes are more fierce!
You have to see that you are representing Jesus - how would He stare at the enemy? How would he look at those demons? Blazing eyes! So, rise up, eyes blaze, and look into them. You’ll find an interesting thing, sometimes they’ll be full of fear, and they’ll try and look away. Then, if I notice it starts to lose eye-contact and look away, or look down - I move in very strongly then, and often it just comes straight out. The moment it backs up from defiance, it’s starting to lose ground. How many have had something like that happen?
So, those are manifestations. Sometimes people will want to throw up. So it’s helpful to have bags and tissues around; but this is an assistant to you, it’s not something automatic - you pull the bag over their head – don’t do that. They’re suffocating! Be sensitive and aware of what’s going on. Just keep commanding.
Now, if they wrestle and fight, you only need to restrain them if it’s likely they’ll be a danger to them, or someone else. I just sometimes step back, and they’ll wriggle and do this and that, and just keep commanding.
So, you need to constantly be listening to the Holy Spirit while you’re doing that. Listen to His guidance; and have a look and see: is this demonic; or is this just emotions? It can move from demonic to emotions very quickly; because when you start to confront the spirit, sometimes deep-seated pain and grief come up as well. If it’s demonic, it tends to look ugly and feel yuck. If it’s emotional, it looks a bit like that, but it’s kind of unresponsive - just yells and screams. You think, that’s actually just emotions, or sometimes a lot of tears.
Try to distinguish between emotions and spirits. Spirits you cast out; emotions - you stop, because now the person needs to let go, forgiveness – there’s some area that was unresolved in your preparation. Ask them what’s happening. Interact with the person. Just interact with them. Show them how to cooperate in the ministry.
It’s not always easy to tell what is from demons, and what is emotions - experience will give it to you. If you’re getting nowhere with a deliverance, just stop it altogether. Just interact with the person and gain their cooperation, and see if the Holy Spirit has issues He wants them to resolve, before further deliverance.
What if the demon argues with you, or threatens you? They do that sometimes. “He belongs to me. I will not leave. Who are you? Nothing! You have no power.” Well, the truth is: we have no power; but Jesus does, and we’re coming in His name. So, you have to speak to them. “I come against you in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth.” Then sock it to them. “He defeated you in Calvary. He stripped you of your power. He humiliated you in Calvary. One day we’ll put you in hell forever.” Just use scripture, push on them. “No. No. No. It’s a lie”. As soon as they say “it’s a lie”, then you keep going. Sometimes I’ve had them say: “Don’t say that to me!”
So the demons don’t like the word of God. Sometimes I’ll just make statements. “The blood of Jesus has broken your power.” If the demon is pushing against me, I’ll sometimes look at it and say: “Look at the cross you demon. Look at the blood. Your power is broken. Your hold is broken.”
It would seem to me, that the natural world is subject to time, so for us today - I can’t look at the cross of Jesus, because it was 2000 years ago, I can only see it in my imagination. But it seems from the spirit world - it’s like the thing’s alive now, it’s real now - it’s a spirit reality now. I’ve noticed when I told them to look at the cross, and look at the blood, that often seems to precipitate the deliverance taking place.
Otherwise, if there’s excessive resistance, go back to seeing if there’s something you’ve missed that needs to be resolved. Dismantle the house the demons are in, and you should get the demons out quickly. So, all the time you’re ministering, lean on the Holy Spirit to help you.
When you finished the deliverance, then you comfort the person, and pray for the love of God and the peace of God to come into their heart. Don’t start comforting before the person’s delivered - I saw that last night. I see it all the time. The person’s put their arm around someone to comfort them; I put my hand on their head, and they start screaming again - the demon has not come out! So stay in that place, alert, in case the demon just tries to deceive you.
How do you know it has come out? You can literally feel the release; or the person tells you. Or the Holy Spirit tells you - that’s the only way you can really know.
If people have been involved in the occult, one additional thing - they need to remove out of their home, all objects associated with the occult. In Acts 19, it says in verse 18 and 19, “Also, many of those who had practiced magic brought their books together, and burned them in the sight of everyone. They counted up the value of them, and it totaled fifty thousand pieces of silver.”
You notice a number of things happened there. People were convicted of their sin, verse 18; they confessed their sin openly; they resolved they would not return to these things. So, they gave up the books, and everything involved with the occult, and they destroyed them. Obviously there’s a lot of money here - fifty thousand pieces of silver is a lot of money - but basically what they did was, they refused to be attracted to the value of those objects - they just got rid of them.
It’s the same in the Old Testament in Deuteronomy 7:35. So, the person does need to cleanse their house of objects which are involved in the occult. You just ask them to do that, maybe bring the objects to you and burn them. You cannot be compromised on this issue. When people are involved in the occult, they need to get free of it completely.
So what spirits would you pray? Well, there’s the whole heap of them that we’ve suggested - let the Holy Spirit guide you - as names come to mind, just confront them. Amen? Amen!
Question & Answer
She has this question: She went to see a Chinese medicine doctor. In Chinese culture, we believe there is air moving in our bodies - and her qi is quite weak. So, the doctor suggested that she should try meditation (sitting) to enrich the qi. But she was afraid that will get into the spiritual phase, so she refused to do that. Instead she tried to do some exercises to increase her stamina. She’s wondering whether it’s possible that tai chi, or yoga, or all kinds of different exercises - may cause us to fall into the trap of evil spirits?
Very good question! The whole ‘qi’ is your life force - for a believer we would understand that’s the life from your spirit. So, a broken spirit dries the bones. There’s a connection between your spiritual energy, and your physical vibrancy. Spirit, soul and body are all very closely connected. What happens in our spirit, and in our heart, affects the flow of life and energy in our body.
The dilemma you have in getting into meditation is that you would open yourself up to the demonic realm. Biblical meditation is very proactive - it pictures the word of God; it imagines the word of God; it sees the reality of the word of God - so it’s focused on some thing. Other kinds of Eastern meditation involve emptying of your life - and that opens the door then, for something else to come in. So I don’t consider that to be a good thing to do. The exercises in yoga - each yoga position are representative of the worship of some god. I always think that the root of something always indicates where it has come from. Some people do some exercises – tai chi and yoga exercises, and they seem to benefit from these things; but the roots and origins lie deeply in the worship of false gods.
So the question is: how close to the edge can you get before you fall off? I think that’s something you have to ask the Holy Spirit about.
What I would suggest, is that you do these sorts of things: that you walk, because walking is good for you; or you swim, because swimming is good for your body. I would encourage you to take time to pray in tongues, and begin to develop the energy and life within the spirit. The Bible says: the same spirit that raised Christ from the dead is within us. It just needs releasing, and the path of releasing is by opening our heart, and our inner man, to allow God to move in us.
What I do, that really is helpful, is that I walk everyday; I pray in tongues; and I pray intentionally to rouse my spirit man. While I’m praying in tongues, I meditate that God is near me; that I am joined to Him; and I spend that time praying and worshipping Him, intentionally allowing His life to flow up and through me.
When I’m here, I do it around the hotel and my floor - I tend to do it really early, so I avoid meeting people. Otherwise, I’m the foreigner who’s crazy. I kind of sing it too, and they think “Oh, he’s the happy, crazy foreigner” I have found that my energy and flow of life has improved through physical exercise; through praying in tongues, and worshipping; and through meditating on God’s presence with me.
As I made it a habit, I have become greatly energised because of this. So, blocks in energy flow through you, tend to be in the soul area, or in the heart area. If we consciously yield those parts of our life to the Lord, and allow His life to flow in us - I would expect significant increase in energy. So, I have a lot of energy - it’s surprising when you consider my age. I can minister for hours, and pray for lots of people - but I need to have my time with God.
I need to be meditating in His presence, filling me up on the inside. I need to constantly be returning to the source, and the basics of building your life with God. In Isaiah 40, it says: “Those who wait on the Lord will exchange their strength.” I believe that the life we live is an exchanged life. It’s not me trying to make something happen - it’s actually letting go of that, and beginning to realise and become aware that: Christ is in me; that the power is already in me! Meditation helps train your heart to believe that, and that’s what begins to energise you. I felt strong praying in tongues, exercising, and meditating have been powerful keys to shift my energy level.
I think you also need to eat properly and rest properly. Sometimes, low energy levels can be: imbalance in your body; or something going on in your soul. For example, anxiety will greatly strip away your energy. Fear will greatly strip away your energy. The systems of our body are so designed to work with the heart that’s in harmony with God. So when our heart is flowing with God, other parts of the body come into alignment as well. I hope that helps.
This person had an encounter with a Malaysian girl, who studies overseas here in Taiwan. The girl was with them late at night, and all of a sudden she started to manifest. She changed her actions, and everything - girl to a boy. Later on, she shared with them she had very severe depression, but she stopped the medicine by herself without consulting the doctor. The person wants to ask: how can we distinguish whether it’s a medical situation. or spiritual situation?
Very good question - I think you always need to be open to the possibility that people’s problems are physical and not spiritual; or it’s a mixture of these things because everything’s interconnected. Now, we give advice on spiritual matters - we’re not doctors, we’re not trained in medicine, so we should not make decision about these things where we have no expertise. So I think that if there is an issue where it’s possibly an issue of medication needed, or even in many situations - encourage the person to get a medical check. Sometimes a medical check will pick up physical problems in the body, and they need to get the balance back, they need to change their diet, or something to set them right.
It concerns me when people are on medication and they go off it, and they don’t tell the doctor. I find usually, a little while later, they have massive problems; because there’s usually a process of withdrawal from the drug, and their body and everything reacts. So any issues relating to medication or health issues, the doctor should be involved, and you work with them, not as someone who’s more knowledgeable than them.
For example, we had one lady, and it appeared that the more she got prayed for, the crazier she got. In the end, we said: “No more prayer”. I said, “There’re two things I want you to do. 1) No one will pray for you. There’s just this one person you can go to talk to, and they’ll pray for you. 2) Go to the doctor and get a medical check, because something’s not right. 3) Do practical things - stop being spiritual - get practical and just flow in your gift of kindness to people. Initially, she really reacted to all of that.
Eventually, we boundaried her, and kept her with one person, and it was so difficult getting her to the doctor. But once we got her to the doctor, and got her family involved, and got her accountable for what she was doing - the last I saw her, she’d totally settled down, and she was totally calm. It wasn’t a deliverance issue - it was just an emotional, and physical, and chemical instability in her life. Everything is linked to one another; so, emotional, spiritual problems can trigger physical problems.
People have the tendency to want to blame demons for their problem, and take no ownership for their life. So, it’s a normal thing to go to a doctor and get them to check you – take a blood test and so on. If you suspect that it could be a mental problem - don’t go beyond what you’re competent to do; and do refer them to go on to a doctor – there’s nothing to be lost, and everything to be gained.
Many times, she would hear sounds in the house. The rattling of the house - in the bricks or the structure, just some sounds that she can’t really explain, but she can hear it. It’s quite noisy, causing her to be unable to fall asleep, so how can she handle a situation like this? The second question - just now you mentioned that some spirits may harass or sexually invade someone’s body - when you are in that position, what would you suggest people to do?
The two may be connected. If a person is being molested by a sexual spirit at night, there are strong occultic links; there is a door open for that spirit to invade. It is claiming a right into the person’s life, that it has no right at all. Spirits like that are always from the occultic realm, and they can come from spirits of perversion in the family line. Secondly, if there are spirits like that, it would be not unusual for this to be accompanied by noises or other disturbing kinds of things happening.
I think, in all of these things, bringing it to the light is the first step. Then it needs the Holy Spirit to show: what is the root of this; when did it start; what caused it to start? Is it generational, is it something the person has done - and then it requires deliverance. You can deliver yourself over most things, through just following the steps - and rise in your spirit and tongues and command it to go. However, sometimes people just need ministry - it may help go deeper, or touch things they couldn’t get hold of themselves.
So I suspect the two are connected, and that noises in the building are part of an overall oppression created from the spirit world, over this person. Pray and ask the Holy Spirit to show you potential doors of entry; then, either: renounce them, close them, and stand against the demons; or get ministry to help.
She has this problem for kids. There’s a kid about 7 or 8 years old, and this kid will scream and wail in the middle of the night. During daytime, she tried to pray for the kid, and the kid manifested very violently. So how can we help and deliver a kid like that?
So, with children, there is a way of ministering to them; and, there are two possible approaches you can use to this. One would be to pray for the child while they’re asleep, with a parent there, so if the child woke up during the ministry, that they don’t get frightened. I have prayed for usually younger children like that.
It would help before doing this, to look into the family background, and find if there are sources for where the spirit has come from. Are there any generational doors; are there any kind of spirits likely to have come through the family line? Talking with the mother and father could help establish that. You could minister to them first, so that you remove the legal grounds for demons in the family line.
If you’re going to pray for the child while they were asleep, you want probably the mother there; or someone there with you. Don’t touch the child, just pray quietly, pray in the spirit quietly; invite the Holy Spirit to come. Keep listening to what He has to say, and then based on what you already should know, you begin to break the curses in the family line, the holds and the agreements with spirits, and command the spirits to go. That does not involve the child participating strongly.
An alternative approach would be to sit with the child and talk with them. When you talk with them, ask them about the dreams they have at night. Get talking, and let the child talk about what they feel about this stuff. Engage the child in their language, at their level. So, you’ve got to talk, and present truth, at a child’s level. You could say something like this – after the child’s talked to you - you say: “Do you know what’s causing these dreams?” “I don’t know why I have these dreams.” “I think it’s a bad spirit. You know there are bad spirits, and they come and trouble us. It’s not your fault, you haven’t done anything wrong, it’s just that’s what bad spirits do. Jesus dealt with bad spirits. Jesus had a good spirit with Him.”
You notice I’m putting the language at a level a child could understand. “...and sometimes bad spirits get into people, trouble them and make life very sad - or very frightening. But Jesus came to release us from these bad spirits. You know, in the Bible, wherever He found them, He got rid of them. Did you know that the bad spirits are afraid of Jesus? In fact, they’re so afraid of Him - they want to get away as quick as they can. So, we could ask Jesus to come; and He’s stronger than the bad spirits - and He could help you get rid of these bad spirits. Would you like that to happen?”
You see, it’s kind of like talking at their level. Then they say now: “Yeah yeah ok.” “Alright then. This is what we’re going to do. In a moment, what I’m going to do is I’m going to pray for you, and I’ll speak to the bad spirits. I won’t be speaking to you - you’ll know I’ve changed - I’m speaking to the bad spirit. We’re going to command the bad spirit to go. You may feel something inside your body. The bad spirit might become frightened. It’s not you that’s being frightened - it’s the bad spirit being frightened. All you need to do is breathe out – make him go, push him out.” A child can understand all that sort of language. “...or you could cough. So when I speak to it - you cough. Let’s work together, make the bad spirit go. Jesus would be very happy.” See, we’re using a language a child could easily get a hold of.
Now, you could sit down beside the child, or you could sit the child on your knee. The problem is that about 8 years old, if they got manifesting, they could be a real difficulty – quite strong. So we would hope that the spirit would go quite easily, now you’ve engaged cooperation.
You want a parent there when you’re doing it, so that this is kept totally transparent. You say and do nothing that will frighten the child. You should constantly build confidence – “This is going to be straightforward. This is going to be good. If you feel something happening inside you, you just cough that thing out. We’re going to get rid of this thing.” Then, go through that process. If a child manifests, you can hold on to them to restrain them, but it can be difficult. It would be better to engage the child’s cooperation, because in doing that, they work with you to resist the spirit.
A lady’s been helping this person. This person has family inherited problems – sickness - insomnia, can’t sleep well for a long period of time, and it caused all kinds of sickness in the body. Many of them in the family, in the end, they even committed suicide. This person came to church and also attended many deliverance conferences or meetings, but every time, they didn’t really react much - no response at all. So, after yesterday and today’s teachings, because the person has started to hear things, causing them more suicidal thinking; and because it seems to be both generation and occult related, she’s wondering: how we can identify it, recognise it, and how can we help this person.
“Was the person involved in the occult themselves?” “He never mentioned it.” “Was it asked?” “Before this teaching, they never had the idea to ask.”
“Generational?” “Idolatry is all the way in the family.”
There are a number of reasons for insomnia - some of them may be medical, related just to the body - some people just don’t sleep well. Some of them may be related to anxiety, or spiritual issues. So, sometimes you have to apply both medical and spiritual remedies.
You can see the way I have approached this, is to be systematically asking questions. Try and discover the root system. If you don’t deal with the root system, you can never get the person free. The person needs to take ownership of their things. Sometimes people just want you to fix them up, but they don’t want to actually recognise: “It’s my problem, and my responsibility to apply, and reach out in faith to Christ.”
There’re various ways to look at it. See, immediately you tell me that there’re suicides – plural – there’s something in the family line - spirits of suicide; oppressing spirits; occult powers; idolatry. So we have to identify what the feeding causes are. The person takes a stand to resist those things, and bring them to the cross. Sometimes I find that people don’t have faith for their freedom. Deliverance isn’t some passive thing - we have to arise in faith, to take hold of what Jesus said. Sometimes, instruction is needed prior to ministry.
In looking at an alter call for example, you’ll notice different responses of people coming up. Now, they’ve all come up – so that means they all want something, but what happens is completely different; ranging from the dramatic, to: “Did anything happen at all?” We can’t always tell, but it seems that the person’s attitude of heart, and preparation of heart, is quite a factor in what they receive from God. Someone might come: “I’ve really got this problem, I want to be free, I’m believing God, I’ve come, I fasted - and they get a massive deliverance.”
Or another one will be just thinking “Oh, I’ll just go up to see what happens.” - or someone says: “You need to go up.” - nothing happens. In other words, there was a passivity, and no preparation of heart for an encounter with God. So the preparation for encounters with God is very important.
I would think 1) Look at the roots. There’re things that need to be asked. You have to find out what are the roots feeding this. Then work through the steps and the process. See if you can get some response that way. 2) Perhaps encourage the person to fast. Get them scriptures to meditate on – the promises of God. Don’t just let them turn up, passive, waiting for you to do something, because they put all the responsibility on you – “Fix me up” rather than - “this is my pursuit of wholeness.”
Where the responsibility lies is a big issue in these cases. So often we don’t recognise a person who’s nowhere near desperate enough for freedom. It’s a good idea, but alignment with Jesus - no I don’t want that. So, when we’re talking about an issue like insomnia, and the suicidal things, you’ve got to bring some instruction.
I’ll give you a scripture related to that. 2 Timothy 2:24-26 – “A servant of the Lord must not strive, but in gentleness, instructing those who oppose themselves, and perhaps God will give them repentance to acknowledge truth. Then they come to their senses, and they escape out of the snare of the devil, who holds them captive whenever he wants.”
You notice the process is one of instruction that leads the person to understanding, and then holding on to the truth. I don’t have all the answers for insomnia. For some, it’s a demonic spirit, some it has to do with body chemistry. A friend and pastor of mine - he doesn’t’ sleep much at all. He just studies, and reads the word of God, and uses the time to be productive. But there is a promise – he gives his beloved sleep. So the remedy may be partly spiritual, and partly physical. Taking some kinds of things that help rest the body and prepare it for sleep; not taking other things like coffee and things that would keep the body awake; leaning how to relax before going to sleep. The solution’s not obvious – there can be several aspects to it - at least you’ve got some places to look.
“The person is taking more and more sleeping pills, more and more dosage, and still they can’t sleep”
“Yeah, something’s not right.” I’d start looking at some of these roots that are in them, see if there’s anything in that.
Father we just thank You for this time together. We pray Lord that we’ll be able to apply what we’ve learnt. Pray for release of increased anointing, and increased fruit people’s lives, in Jesus’ name, Amen.
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Understand God's design for a blessed life, and about the deep impact on our spirit and soul of sexual sin. Learn how to break bondages, minister deliverance, and rebuild damaged lives.
3 – Freedom from sexual sin
We’re always learning. There are always things to learn. I encourage you to keep on a learning journey. The last couple of mornings we shared with you on generational iniquity and curses, and we shared on the area of the occult. Today we want to look at the whole area of freedom from sexual sin.
This is quite a big topic, that can’t really be handled simply. I want to just approach it on this particular day, from the point of view of just understanding, in ministering to people, what you’re going to be ministering to. We’ll just share some things I’ve learnt on the way that help.
This is becoming an increasingly significant issue that we have to deal with now. We’ve got to continue to be willing to learn and understand the problems people are facing. We’ll just start with a story out of the Bible, of a man tormented by unclean spirits; then I want to look at God’s design for us; and then I want to look at the impact of sexual sin; and then we’ll look at some ways of ministering to people.
Let’s read first of all, in Luke 4:33-34 – “Now in the synagogue there was a man who had a spirit of an unclean demon. And he cried out with a loud voice, saying: “Leave us alone! What have we to do with You, Jesus of Nazareth? Did You come to destroy us? I know who You are—the Holy One of God!” But Jesus rebuked him, saying: “Be quiet, and come out of him!” And when the demon had thrown him in their midst, it came out of him and did not hurt him.”
So the Bible says the man was in bondage to an unclean demon. All demons are unclean; but it’s quite possible that this man was in bondage to sexual sin. So, the story begins in the synagogue – a place where believers meet; and a believer has an issue with sexual sin. In some way he’d opened his life, and he was being tormented by spirits. So, he was tormented by spirits of lust and perversion. There was a torment going on in his life, day-by-day. So, what form would that torment be like?
1.) There would be constant memories and pictures in his mind of past sexual experiences. The demons would be keeping the memories alive, just keeping them in the front of his mind constantly.
2.) He would be having fantasies of future sexual experiences. His mind would constantly be thinking about possible future experiences; and there would be driving feelings or passions, lust, longing; and there would be repeated cycles of failure in his life.
So those would be some of the things that would be happening in him: memories of past sexual experiences; and fantasies of possible future experiences - driving feelings and longings of lust, and then cycles of failure. We would sin and ask for forgiveness, and then be alright for a while, and then back into the same problem.
So, this man, the driving force underneath it was demonic. We need to understand that demonic spirits cause energy inside people. For example, Ephesians 2:2 refers to demonic spirits, and it says that they ‘work in us’ – “You once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience”. So, demonic spirits work in people.
The word ‘work’ is the word where we get ‘energise’. Demonic spirits create energy, pressure inside people. Sin also creates energy in people. So, sin energises people. I think in Romans 5:7, it says: sin works in you. When a person has these kinds of problems, there is a strong energy, and pressure, and drive within the person. The presence of demonic spirits, and the presence of unresolved sin, tends to increase that pressure.
Our sexual drive is an appetite we must learn to manage. It’s something God gave to us. For example, you want to eat everyday. You want to have food. It’s an appetite inside the person’s life. So, sexual desire is an appetite, a longing that God has put within people; and it has to be managed. However, the presence of sin and demonic spirits creates a massive energy that drives this particular appetite, so we need to learn how to manage ourselves.
Have a look in 1 Thessalonians 4:3-8, and it says: “For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual sit; that each of you should know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honour, not in passion of lust, like the Gentiles who do not know God; that no one should take advantage of, and defraud his brother in this matter, because the Lord is the avenger of such, as we also forewarned you and testified. For God did not call us to uncleanness, but to holiness. Therefore he who rejects this does not reject man, but God, who has also given us His Holy Spirit.”
You notice, you never have to pray about sexual sin. The Bible says: this is the will of God – purity. In case we didn’t understand it, He says: “abstain from sexual sin”. Notice that He makes it very clear. It’s God’s will that we avoid, or restrain, or hold back from sexual sin; and two, we learn how to manage this appetite in our life; in contrast to unsaved people, who just look for opportunities to express it.
The third thing he tells us to do, is not to sexually manipulate a brother or sister; and in doing so, defraud them in the relationship. This is a major area of teaching itself – How to conduct relationships, without sexually manipulating someone.
The last thing He says is that: this call to holiness is something God has ordained, not man. So, if we resist this teaching of holiness and purity, we’re resisting God. We’ll look at some insights as we go on this journey. The man we’re looking at, in the story in Luke 4, was in bondage to sexual sin, and needed to be set free; and for that man, deliverance was the key to freedom. After he’d been set free, he still needed to walk in holiness, and he still needed to manage his appetite, and he still needed to conduct his relationships differently.
Now, let’s have a look at God’s design. We need to see how God designed us. Genesis 2:18 – “And the LORD God said, “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.” Then, going down a bit further to verse 24, “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother, and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.”
You notice that the only thing God said was not good was loneliness. In other words, man is created for relationships. We are created with the ability to be intimate; and a need for intimacy - intimacy with God; and intimacy with another person. God has given us the ability to be able to express intimacy in a physical way. Not only that, he has given us the ability to bond.
In other words, when two people are involved sexually, they bond together. In the act of sexual intimacy, there is a chemical released in the brain that causes a bonding, or connecting between one person and the other. As well as that, there’s also an attachment, or a soul-tie formed. Remember, it’s the issue of loneliness that’s resolved by intimacy - intimacy with God; and intimacy with another person. So, God has made us to be able to bond; and sexual intercourse is a key to that bonding taking place. “The two shall be joined, and become one flesh.” So, when people are sexually intimate, there is a bonding together, and the two become one.
Now, let’s have a look in Matthew 19. So, God has given us several abilities – the ability to be intimate, to express that intimacy, to bond with someone else, and the ability to create. We can create things with our mind; we can create things with our body. Two of the great aspects of our sexuality are: the ability to be intimate and bond; and the ability to create another life. Clearly, that requires responsibility. The world tends to exploit all of this, of course.
Let’s have a look in Matthew 19:4 – “And He answered and said to them: Have you not read, that He who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female’”? So you notice God’s design - male and female. Not male and male; not female and female; but male and female. Verse 5-6: “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh” So then, they are no longer two, but one flesh.”
You notice that God is talking about His original design. When two people become intimate with one another, intimacy means you become vulnerable. You open a part of your life to others, that’s not normally seen. You can’t be intimate with everyone, it’s not appropriate; it’s damaging to you. So intimacy is developed, it’s a process of building trust, and disclosing ourselves. Intimacy is very important to God. He made us for intimacy. He designed us for very close connections. So, the ability to be intimate makes us vulnerable.
If you open your heart to someone, you reveal something of yourself to them, and now you’ve become vulnerable; they can hurt you. They could reject you, they could betray you. There’s the dilemma: I want to be close; but if I get close, you might hurt me. So, that’s the dilemma. If you hurt me, it’ll make an impact on my life, and make it difficult for me to be intimate again. You see the dilemma of intimacy - all intimacy makes you vulnerable.
Therefore, God’s design is for there to be some protection around being intimate. When two people are sexually intimate, it involves body, soul, and spirit. God’s design is that we live from our spirit; and that the life of our spirit flows from soul and body, and touches other people - that’s God’s design. Now, the world reduces sexual relationship to something quite physical. From God’s point of view, it starts from the inside and goes out - heart to heart connection, sharing your life; and then physical. The world turns it around, and places the emphasis on the physical; and neglects to tell you of the potential damage that could be caused to your soul and your spirit.
For a person to have a physical sexual relationship, but no intimacy, no opening their heart in love to another person, just totally reduces that physical act to something no more than a physical act. So, intimacy without a commitment opens the door for injury - intimacy without commitment and trust. It makes sense: you just don’t get intimate with every person, because you become vulnerable to that person.
So, God has designed us, so that when two people become sexually intimate, you have sexual intercourse, firstly, something happens in their body. With the act of sexual intercourse, chemicals are released in the brain that bring immense pleasure, and cause a feel of bonding. When people are intimate with one another, they see and hear and experience things and their soul bonds together.
When people are intimate with one another, their spirit can flow and touch the other person. Just think about God’s design. It’s for a flow from your spirit to touch the spirit, soul, and body of the other person. So if you ignore all of that, you reduce intimacy to something little more than a physical act; and this actually, totally perverts God’s design, which is for intimacy – spirit, soul, and body.
That’s why the Bible uses this word: it uses the word ‘know’. Adam ‘knew’ his wife. They translate the word ‘know’, so it’s the word ‘yada’ – to be intimate. There was a flow from one person to the other. When a person has a relationship with someone, and they’re not married, they use the word: ‘he lay with her’. If it’s between a husband and wife: ‘he knew his wife’; but for something else: ‘he lay with her’, for example, when Dinah got raped: ‘he lay with her’. The Bible uses totally different language. Sexual intercourse is about intimacy, and the flow from the spirit and the heart of a person to another.
You can see then, why, to protect our intimacy, our capacity to be intimate, God put in place covenant. God is a covenant God. When God enters relationship with you, it is covenantal - He makes a covenant with you. A covenant is a binding agreement. In a covenant there are agreements: I will not hurt you. So God enters into a relationship called ‘covenant’.
In marriage, God designed marriage to be a covenant relationship. One person committed to the other, not to harm them, but to be faithful to them. God’s plan for marriage, man and woman, husband and wife, is that it be a covenant relationship; and it reflect what the relationship between Christ and the church is like. Covenant is a commitment of lifelong faithfulness, to protect intimacy.
Whenever in the Bible a covenant was made, there were always: words spoken; and there was blood shed; and promises made. God has designed the woman, so that in the first act of sexual intercourse, blood is shed. There’s no real reason for this, except its God’s design; and it’s God revealing again to us, that sexual intimacy is a covenantal issue. When a husband and wife have intercourse, it should be for the first time, and there’s a shedding of blood.
So it’s normal for example, for a wedding service, the couple may speak words to one another and form covenant. They exchange rings as a sign of covenant; people witness the covenant being made; there’s a celebration of covenant; but the marriage is not complete until the first act of sexual intercourse, and in that, the shedding of blood. What the parents used to do, was they would keep the sheets where the blood was shed - these were the tokens of the woman’s virginity. This was very highly valued in the Hebrew culture – that the woman kept herself for the husband, and the man entered into covenant with her.
So, when a man has sexual intimacy with a woman, and does not make a covenant with her, he is taking advantage of her. He is using her to meet his needs, but he is not offering her covenant, commitment, and security. This is devastating to women. God has set this in place - it’s His divine design. So God has also wired into us, that the man would conquer or pursue to conquer; and that women would desire security and commitment - that was the design.
So Jesus pursues us, offers us covenant, and we are secure in our relationship with Him. In the marriage, the man pursues the woman, offers her covenant, and then is faithful to her in the whole season of their relationship.
You understand then, that the whole act of sexual intercourse is in the context of marriage covenant. Everything about the whole wedding service, and the area of sexual intimacy, is to do with God’s design for marriage covenant. You can understand why we’ve just read in 1 Thessalonians 4 not to defraud the other person. That means to manipulate someone, and get something from them. When you defraud someone, you take something they wouldn’t have given you, except you put one over them. So men defraud women – leading them on, and drawing them into sexual intimacy, and then abandoning them. Women seeking to be secure, or have a relationship, can give in to this, and then feel defrauded.
You can see by what I’ve shared already, how far everyone’s moved away from God’s design; how we need to return to God’s design. If you create something, you know how it works. A designer who makes a microwave, they have a manual on how to make it work right. They say: don’t put any metal into this thing. “I don’t care; I don’t follow the manual you know. I do this my own way”. So you put a cup in with some metal stuff on it, and all sorts of things go off inside the microwave. “Whoa! What’s wrong with that?” We just didn’t follow the makers design.
We need to come back to God’s design, and embrace how God intended sexual intimacy to work. However, understand that man, opposed to God, will have his own ideas. Remember, the definition of sin means: to fall short of what God intended for our good. So, sexual sin – people fall short of what God intended. Do they enjoy it? Of course they do - God made it to be enjoyable; but there is a hidden destruction, because the wages of sin is always death.
We’ll find that the Bible warns about sexual sin; and we want to understand the damage caused by sexual sin. You understand, if God’s purpose is intimacy; and if we’re intimate we become vulnerable; it’s not surprising that damage takes place if we have sexual relationships outside marriage.
Let’s have a look at some warnings on this area. You have to remember this: that God is not against sex. God thought it up. We recognise God as the creator; He’s given us the ability to create a life; and He thought up exactly how it would work. He designed us for this; and He built in that this is going to be good. You’ll feel good, and you’ll like it. He built this into us - and then just in case we just don’t want to go that way, He puts a desire for this in us. Don’t go praying that God would take it all away - He gave it to you for a purpose.
We’ll just have a read in 1 Corinthians 6:13-20 – “Now the body is not for sexual sit, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body.” What it’s basically saying, is that God does not want you to be involved in sexual sin; He wants you to honour Him. So, clearly, right at the beginning - keeping ourselves pure, honours God.
Just think again about His design. He’s designed us to reveal what He’s like; and He doesn’t go around having sex with people with no commitment. His relationships are covenantal - they are permanent.
Remember we saw how blood was shed for covenant between a husband and a wife? God forms covenant with us in the blood of Jesus Christ. We have communion - we celebrate we’re in covenant with God. When you have communion, this is what you’re celebrating.
You’re celebrating many things of course, but here’s the key of it – that I’m in a committed relationship with God. God has made covenant with me. I am His wife, and as evidence of that covenant, I will take this bread and take this cup, to remind me that in this covenant, it was Jesus’ own blood that purchased me. I am valuable to God. I am loved by Him. I belong to Him. I don’t belong to anyone else. I belong primarily to Him. That’s the core of communion. I am forgiven, because a Husband forgives me. I am loved, because my Husband loves me. See, it’s a marriage covenant.
We don’t tend to think about our relationship with God like that, but everything about His relationship is covenant; because He says: I am a covenant-keeping God. So breaking covenant, being unfaithful - is a terrible crime. From God’s eyes, if relationship means life, then breaking relationship is death. If covenant means: this is how God relates to us, then betraying covenant is a wicked sin – it violates the core of who God is. Let’s go on a little further...
It says in 1 Corinthians 6 verse 15: “Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them members of a prostitute? Certainly not! Or do you not know, that he who is joined to a prostitute, is one body with her? For the two shall become one flesh.”
Notice what He’s saying here. He’s saying that, as a believer, the Spirit of God lives in me. I’m a part of Jesus’ representation in the Earth. I’m a part of the body of Christ – meaning I represent Him - He lives within me. So He said: why would I get involved with a prostitute, and be joined to a prostitute? Notice that when you’re involved sexually, it affirms again, that you become joined. He says: I’m joined to the Spirit of God; I don’t want to get involved in sexual sin - it’ll grieve the Spirit of God. Think about it, if you get involved in sexual sin, you’re taking the Holy Spirit where He doesn’t want to go.
Notice what it says in verse 18: “Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body; but he who commits sexual immorality, sins against his own body.” The word they use there for sexual sin is the word ‘Porneia’, which means: unlawful sexual relationships, or idolatry.
Now, look at this. It says: “...every sin you do, is just outside you”. If you lie, it’s outside you; you steal, it’s outside you; you break the laws, it’s outside you. Every sin is outside you; but there’s something about sexual sin that makes it different. This is why God warns about it. He says: he that commits sexual sin, sins against, or into, his own body.
When you sin sexually, there is something that enters into your body; because the two become joined, there is an entrance into you, of another person. There is a part of them that enters your life. This is why it’s saying that sin is so difficult - why it’s such a problem; because in every other sin, it’s just outside you; but in sexual sin, something happens inside you - you change on the inside.
For example, your brain chemistry will begin to respond, and there’ll be memory tracts put inside you. Sexual sin can build neuron pathways that become quite addictive - you build tracts in your mind. So, in a whole number of ways, sexual sin brings something into you. You need to be aware of this when you’re ministering to people.
It’s not just a sin outside to say “I’m sorry” for; it’s a change within them that’s taking place; and it will have ongoing effects on the person. You can’t walk away from it, because you’re carrying the impact of your sin inside you. So sexual sin is quite unique in its impact - something comes into us.
There’s a verse in Romans 1:27, it says “Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another; men with men, committing what is shameful; and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due.” Notice something ‘inside’ the person changes. So, what He’s saying in both of these verses is simply that: sexual sin has an impact on you that no other sin has. Something changes inside you. The more you follow the path of sexual sin, the deeper the impact and changes on you.
Let’s have a look at some of the damage sexual sin causes. Many people won’t acknowledge it, but the more you become sensitive to your spirit, and what is happening in your life, the more you become aware of the presence and impact of sexual sin. Firstly, there is spiritual damage. The first thing is, it affects your relationship with God. You grieve the Holy Spirit.
In Ephesians 4:30, it talks about grieving the Holy Spirit; to cause Him pain and sorrow. Because God is a covenant God, if you are involved in sexual sin, then you grieve the Spirit of God, and it affects your relationship. Ephesians 4 and 5 are both connected, and it lists the things that grieve the Holy Spirit. So sexual sin grieves and dishonours what God has called us to be.
If we continue in the sin, we become desensitised in our conscience. One of the things that seem to happen, when you’re involved in sexual sin, is that there’s a guilt, and a shame, that comes around your life. Guilt – I’ve done something wrong. Shame – something’s wrong with me. For all the emphasis the world makes on sexual sin being okay, if anyone in a significant role is caught in sexual sin, they immediately experience shame and dishonour.
So the first spiritual impact is that our relationship with God is affected or wounded. God wants us to be confident and bold towards Him. You’ll find that when people are wrestling with sexual sin, they feel condemned, and unworthy to enter into the presence of God. We’ll come back to that later, in how to step back up again after you’ve sinned.
However, I’ve noticed in the area of sexual sin: 1) the devil will push on you to do it; and 2) he’ll follow it up with an accusation of shame. So God has made provision for cleansing, we just need to know how to apply it.
Second thing, demonic defilement can occur. In other words, demonic spirits can transfer from one person to another, if the two have had sexual relationships. This is why: if two people have sexual intercourse, what does God say about it? The two become one. If two people have become one, then if I have demons in me, and I become joined to a person, then we’re one, so the demon has a right to go there too. Just as sexual disease can be transmitted, demonic spirits have a legal right to come into that person.
Now you understand how, in the Old Testament, one of the things that caused men of God to go off track was sexual sin; because it enabled demonic spirits to come into the person, and bring them into captivity.
For example, in Numbers 25, Balaam had tried to curse Israel; and God said: “No, they’re blessed”. He said: “What can I do? I know what to do: send in the women who’d been worshipping idols; get them to sleep with the men - and then it’s all over”. That’s exactly what they did. They sent women, who were worshipping idols, to come and sleep with the men and compromise their life.
You think about what happened to Samson. Judges 16 – It says: “there were people lying in wait for him to fall into sexual sin”; and then they took away his strength, then they brought him into bondage and captivity. In other words, sexual sin was the doorway for him to become spiritually captive. You think about King David - sexual sin led to other things like deception and murder.
So, when people are involved in sexual sin, in the Old Testament, there was a law that said: they had to be put to death; or in other words: a spirit of death can legally enter them.
So, you find demonic defilement can easily occur when people have been involved sexually. I had one girl, as I shared with you, who was struggling with occult oppression; and the doorway the spirit used was: she was involved sexually with someone involved in the occult.
Another aspect of spiritual damage is that ungodly soul ties are connected. They give demons the right to enter in. A soul tie is a bonding. So when two people become one, they’re bonded together. If they’re married, it’s a lawful tie; if they’re unmarried, it’s an ungodly tie - ungodly soul ties. So this bonding enables demonic spirits to enter the person’s life. You will find, when you start to break ungodly soul ties of sexual partners, that many times, the demons will manifest immediately.
So you can see the spiritual impact – relationship with God damaged, demonic spirits can enter, conscience is damaged, becomes vulnerable to condemnation, and demonic soul ties are formed. It’s quite a load of stuff isn’t it? But that’s not all.
Remember what I said, something comes into you. So, when God says: you be careful about this sin, because something would change inside you. Something would change, that’s not easy to change back again. So He said: that’s why you keep yourself pure. You will change. Something will happen inside you, and it’ll take some effort to get this damage fixed up.
Now let’s have a look at what happens in the soul. We’re talking about the soul of man. Proverbs 5, 6, and 7 talks quite a bit about sexual sin. Let’s have a look in Proverbs 5:3-5 for example. “For the lips of an immoral woman drip honey, and her mouth is smoother than oil; but in the end she is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a two-edged sword. Her feet go down to death, her steps lay hold of hell.”
Notice what it’s saying there – it’s talking about sexual sin. It says: it’s smoother than oil, lips dripping honey, sweet. What it’s saying is that it’s very sweet. When you start down the path of sexual sin - it’s very sweet; but you see, the end is bitter. Starts sweet; ends bitter. You’ll find that bitterness becomes a problem when people have been involved in sexual sin. Bitter men, bitter women; feeling used in the sexual relationship - expecting intimacy and love; and instead, being rejected and abandoned; so the end – bitterness. When you’re ministering to people, be aware there’ll be bitterness there.
Proverbs 5:5 – “Her feet go down to death, her steps lay hold of hell.” Notice death and hell are spiritual powers. Death causes people to be isolated. Hell torments people. So the two spirits are found very commonly connected to sexual sin: Death – which isolates and numbs; and Hell – which torments. Proverbs 5:22 – “His own iniquities entrap the wicked man, and he is caught in the cords of his sin.”
So that’s Proverbs 5. Let’s have a look at Proverbs 6:32-33 – “Whoever commits adultery with a woman lacks understanding (or heart); for he who does it, destroys his own soul. Wounds and dishonour he will get, and his reproach will not be wiped away.” Isn’t that amazing? The impact in the Bible is very clear. Talking specifically about adultery, and He said: you will get wounds and shame come into your life.
You think about now, public exposure of adultery, anywhere you’ve seen it in the media - it brings tremendous dishonour, and it brings tremendous pain. Everyone despises it. Even if no-one talks about it, when it comes out to the open, people are dishonoured and shamed and wounded.
Let’s have a look in Proverbs 7:25-27 – “Do not let your heart turn aside to her ways, do not stray into her paths; for she has cast down many wounded, and all who were slain by her were strong men. Her house is the way to hell, descending to the chambers of death.”
So, this passage again says of the issue of wounds; and refers again to death and hell. If you want to look at the whole process of temptation, you can see it outlined in Proverbs 6. What I want you to pick up from here is that: there is damage caused in the soul. Wounds, or blows, or cuts to the soul. So exactly what happens? Your soul, we think, is your mind and emotions and your imagination and your will. Let’s have a look at some of the things in the soul.
Firstly, defiling pictures - pictures and memories of sexual experiences. See, your memory works like this – whatever you see, or have experience of, your mind retains a picture of that. If there’s intense pleasure associated with it, or intense pain, it’s more deeply imprinted; and if it’s repeated, it imprints even more. The nature of sexual sin is that whenever people are involved in sexual intimacy, chemicals are released; and thought trees form in the mind; and they are very strong because of the immense amount of chemicals released.
There are pictures in your mind, and you can’t get rid of them - they will come back when you’re praying, come back when you’re having intimacy with your spouse. They just keep coming back - because they’re in you. They’re in your brain. Now, you can do something about them. I’ll show you a little bit later what you can do about the pictures.
Demonic spirits get on them, and use them to manipulate you. You could be having time of worship, and whoosh the picture comes back, then condemn you; because the area of your brain that’s involved in worship, and with God, is the same area involved in sexual intimacy. That’s why when you’re trying to worship God, the part of your mind that gets involved, is the part involved with intimacy - that’s why those pictures come up. If there’s a healthy relationship in marriage, the pictures don’t come up. If you’ve got unhealthy or ungodly sexual relationships, up come the pictures to block your intimacy with God.
The second aspect is: painful emotions. What kind of emotions? As you remember the relationship, and the relationship broke up, there’s usually grief – because there was high expectation in that relationship; there’s feelings of being rejected; there’s often bitterness; and sometimes people begin to hate men or women, or they’ll hate themselves. There’s often anger, and there’s often shame. Now isn’t that an amazing bunch of things inside you? People were looking for love, and got hurt.
So, what happens is: their soul is left with the damage. Grief – I feel angry; I feel rejected; and then the person begins to feel bitter and hateful against men, or against women, or often against themselves. A woman, who was seduced by a man, afterwards will walk away feeling: I just hate myself - how could I have let that happen. Of course, it’s all in secrecy from family, so there’s an immense shame that sits over the person’s life.
When you come to talk to a person, they’ll barely tell you what they did. They won’t tell you about all this mess that’s going on in their life. You just need to know: that’s the turmoil. There’s more - there’s confusion inside, because the person who’s had several relationships: they gave a part of their soul here, and it was hurt; now they give a part here, and that’s hurt; leave a part here, and that’s hurt. Now they’re scattered.
So when they finally get married, it’s hard to give themselves anymore - too much brokenness, too much pain; and because the person’s scattered, it’s hard to give themselves intentionally to one person. Sometimes they feel they’re still attached to the other person. Sometimes, if a spouse is spiritually sensitive, they can feel it. It’s like you’re not with me.
Remember we said that sexual intercourse is about intimacy, it’s about connection from within. When I’ve been teaching you about flowing in the spirit, remember I talked to you about the need for focus; that if your mind goes somewhere else, you disconnect, and there’s no flow from your spirit. So in sexual intimacy with your spouse, it’s important your mind does not disconnect; does not go remembering other relationships; does not go fantasising; but you connect with your spouse. So if you’ve got lots of images in there, your mind disconnects, goes all over. You understand why God warned about this? This is a problem for people; they don’t talk about it though.
So wounds and dishonour is caused; and not only that, but you find if a man for example, is involved in pornography, his whole brain chemistry changes. In other words, each time he’s involved in a pornographic experience, which means: fantasy, desire, and sometimes sexual masturbation. Every time that happens, there’s a tract formed in his mind.
There’s a thing about pornography – when people are involved with pornography, they’re not dealing with a real person and a real relationship; they’re looking at an image. In that image, they objectify the woman. The woman’s treated like an object for the man’s pleasure and control. When a man watches pornography, his whole brain begins to be trained, so if he sees a woman, he does not see the image of God, he does not see the person. He sees the body; he sees an object; and his mind is trained by the constant exposure to pornography. He sees her as an object, to be used to feel good.
So when a man is involved in watching pornography, images are formed in the soul, in the mind, brain chemistry begins to develop ruts, mental ruts. This deeply affects his ability to be intimate, because every time he sees a woman, he’s looking at her body, to scan her body parts, and treat her as an object of pleasure. This totally perverts the image of God, and turns this person into an object for him.
So he has all these fantasies about what a woman would be like and do, and this totally defiles his ability to enter into intimacy in marriage; makes him self-centred rather than loving. Spirits of perversion and prostitution enter his life and defile him. So, if a man has been involved in pornography, his wife would never feel loved by him. How could she? He won’t flow from his spirit to her, because his mind is defiled by a different kind of thinking. That whole process of the mind needs to be cleansed.
“Flee sexual sin”. There’s a good reason for it! It’s not because God says: “Oh, I hate sex. It’s so bad.” He said: “I love you, be careful. I’ve given you a gift that could destroy you.” See the difference? Church often won’t talk about it. Just: sex is bad. Even if people don’t say it, you get that message: “Don’t do it. You’ll be a bad person.” So all the shame is all over it; rather than God’s perspective – “I’ve given you this amazing, fantastic gift. It’s just unbelievable. It creates so much pleasure; and possibly creating a life. It’s a great gift. Please be careful. You’ll do a lot of harm if you misuse this gift.”
It’s almost certain in Genesis 5:6 that the group of watcher angels fell from their place God appointed them, because they wanted to be involved sexually with women. “Wow. Look at this gift God’s given to people. Man, this looks so good. We want a piece.” So they left what God appointed them to, and got involved with women. The Bible says: that’s when the nephilim and giants were born into the Earth. We won’t go into that, but you would understand there’s more to this whole issue than you’ve realised.
Now the last one we’ll put down is: people form destructive reactions in their soul. When people are hurt, they usually try to defend or protect themselves in some way - they don’t want to be hurt again. So it’s quite common when people have been involved in sexual sin, that there’s a reaction or a wall built in the heart, to stop themselves being hurt again.
Typical issues in people to be aware of are these:
1) Inner vows; or inward vows. I’ll give an example in a moment. It’s a vow the person makes in themselves, out of hurt and anger. For example, “I’ll never trust a man again.” “I’ll never trust a woman again.” If you make an inward vow in your heart – “I’ll never trust a man again”, your heart will believe that. You know what your heart will say? I agree, let’s not trust a man. You may forget you said it, but years later, you get married and he’s a wonderful man. What if just a great man came into your life? But you know what your heart is saying? Don’t trust him. You can never trust a man.
So, no matter how good he is, you’ll still never trust him; and the relationship will begin to fail, because a stronghold of distrust is in there. The inner vow - I have prayed for people who’ve made inner vows never to carry a male child, and then miscarried every male child. When people get hurt, and they make inner vows to protect themselves, these are like strongholds in the heart, that stop their lives being productive.
2) Bitter judgement. You’ve been hurt by a couple of men, or hurt by a couple of women, and you’ll never trust a man again. You’ll never trust men - they’ll always let you down. Never trust women - they’ll always control you. These kinds of bitter judgements then defile all future relationships. A very common one is a death wish - I just wish I was dead. People covered in shame about what they’ve done, and what they’ve allowed to happen to them, just say: “I wish I was dead”. These are reactions in the soul that you have to address when you’re ministering to people.
So, you start to notice now, every sin you commit is outside your body; but sexual sin is inside the body. Now we see there’s: issues of sin; there’s the issue of demons; ungodly soul ties; the pictures imprinted in the mind and the body; the hurts in the heart; and the reactions in the heart. What a mess! No wonder God says, or warns us about it. It’s not because it’s evil, it’s a good gift. It’s just it needs to be kept in God’s guidelines, for it to be a wonderful gift.
In the next session, we’ll look at some of the examples of sexual sin, particularly pornography, and then what I’ll do is how to get people free – what to do.
We see in the last session how God has given us an amazing gift, and He wants us to learn how to steward and manage that gift, so it’s a blessing and not a cause of pain.
One of the big things related to sexual sin, is that it thrives in darkness and secrecy. Because of the shame that seems to come with it, it remains covered and concealed; and whatever’s concealed, is a place of darkness thriving.
I believe in today’s culture, this is becoming an increasing problem. Particularly the internet has opened up all kinds of ways of people accessing sexual perversion. People can be connected into a whole realm of perversion and you wouldn’t know. Even simple exposures can have a huge issue in the person’s life.
We prayed for one young pastor’s son, and he’d been involved in internet pornography for about two years. The pastor was really upset, because he said: we’ve got a computer in the open, and we’ve done everything we can to keep them from it, but we cannot understand how this happened. He kept all the boundaries up in the home over this issue of pornography. His son went to a friend’s place, and they were open about it - the father let the kids watch stuff on the computer; and that one exposure - he became addicted. He’s just a teenage boy, who’s got drawn into this thing.
The word pornography comes from two words put together - the word “porno” - “prostitute”; and the word “graphic”, or “to write”. So the writings of prostitutes were the original form of pornography - that’s where it originally came from. You’ll find behind pornography is a spirit of prostitution, a spirit of perversion, and usually idolatry, self-idolatry. Prostitution – because many of those are involved are selling themselves, or receiving money in order to do these things. That’s one aspect of it. Spirit of perversion – it totally perverts the image of God.
A woman is also created in the image of God, but Pornography totally destroys that image - treats the person as an object or a thing, rather than as a person. Men particularly, are vulnerable to pornography: 1) because they’re very stirred or stimulated by what they see; and 2) often because of rejection, and fears of real relationship. It’s often driven by a desire for comfort, or a desire for control.
Pornography alters the chemistry in the brain - it releases serotonin and dopamine, and that creates pathways in the brain. Pornography is progressively addictive. It’s like a drug in the person’s life – they need more and more and more, in order to get the same feelings. It results in soul-ties being formed to images. A person in pornography is actually locked in to the images, locked in on the websites, like attached to them.
Jesus said in Matthew 5:28 “If you look after a woman with lust in your heart, you’ve already committed adultery. So pornography opens the door for: spirits of lust to enter; spirits of perversion; spirits of prostitution; and spirits of idolatry. In the Old Testament, the idolater’s practices in the cultures that Israel went into - you know one thing they mostly had in common? Temple prostitutes! So being involved with prostitutes, male and female, was a part of the whole worship ceremony. Again, what God intends for good and blessing, becomes a destructive doorway into people’s life for demons.
I was reading recently about a survey done on pornography. They did a test on the areas of the brain that were affected, when a person was exposed to pornography. This is what they found: if a person had little or no exposure, when they saw some pornographic images, there was not a very big response in their brain; however, if they were watching a lot of pornography, whole areas of the brain started to become alive and stimulated - and these are exactly the same areas that become stimulated by someone who’s involved in drugs, or some kind of chemical dependency.
The conclusion they came to, was that the response of the brain to pornography is chemically identical to that of any other kind of addictive material, or addictive substance. Of course, you can understand there’s a lot of resistance to agreeing with that point of view. Essentially they’re saying that it is addictive, in the same way a drug is addictive. It alters your brain chemistry; creates a false reality; and progressively requires more to produce the same result. This is a major area now, and we need to be straight upfront and talk about these things - help people in their journey to get free of it.
So that’s only one of a whole range of sexual sins. I’ll give you a number of things that the Bible talks about; you can search them out yourself. The Bible talks about, first of all, fornication – sexual sin outside marriage; adultery; homosexuality; rape; sexual intimacy with demons; child abuse; bestiality – sexual relationship with animals; prostitution; cross-dressing. In other words, anything that perverts God’s pattern for man is a problem - incest; rape and abuse. So the list goes on and on. We need to have some strategies on how to set people free. We need to know what we would do to help people.
I wanted to just talk about some of the pathways to freedom. Here’s the first scripture, Proverbs 28:13, “He who covers his sins will not prosper; but whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy.”
Let me just go through perhaps the journey of ministry to set people free. I think there’s the actual ministry itself, and there’s the follow-up afterwards. Let’s first of all, have a look at the ministry side.
1) Ask the Holy Spirit to help you to reveal the roots. We must learn to depend on the Holy Spirit’s help, in dealing with any person. Learn to listen with your heart, to any impressions He gives you. It could be simply a question to ask: “Have you been involved in this?”, and watch to look at the person’s response. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you. Be open all the time to listen to His promptings.
2) Diagnose the problem. That means you have to ask questions; and keep asking questions until you feel that you have got to the root of the problem. The root of the problem may be generational; that could be a factor in it. This is not just this person’s problem, there’s a contribution that comes from the generational line. Perhaps there’s some trauma the person’s been through. Were they sexually abused? Where they exposed to any sexual situations when they were very young?
Abuse ranges from just being exposed to something you shouldn’t have seen, right through to very serious and prolonged abuse. Is there a pattern of sinning in this area? Take your time to find out the truth, because sexual sin carries with it a huge deception around it. People will try and conceal from you what’s really happening. Commitment to the truth is the only way the person will get free. There can be no shadow of darkness, the person’s got to come clean.
So diagnose the problem. That means asking questions; looking for any contributing roots - are there generational issues; are there trauma, abuse issues; is it a habitual pattern; when did it start; how did it start? It just helps to search, because sometimes, for example, a young man may have experienced a family breakup, and in the midst of the pain, he’s gone looking for comfort.
So sexual sin is the comfort; but the root is the pain of the breakup. So look for anything that contributes to this problem. Don’t just look at the sin, and get disgusted by the sin -diagnose what the problem is. When you think you’ve got it summed up, just talk back. Just share with them what you see is the problem - interact with the person over this. If you don’t understand the extent of the problem, your solution will only be a patch over the top. The person needs to be honest with you.
In being honest with you, if there’s any crime involved, you can’t cover it. You can’t cover crime. If there’s a sexual abuse situation, you can’t be committed to be secret about that. You know, the person says to you: “I tell you what’s happening, but you must promise you’ll never tell anyone!” “Whoa, you say - wait a minute. I want to help you, but I won’t agree to that. I will keep confidence, but if there’s something really serious, I will remain free to talk to someone over me - to get their advice and help.”
If you don’t do that, you could be drawn to something terrible. Person might say: “I’ve been sexually molesting my younger sister.” Woah! Or it could be: “I’ve been involved sexually with a leader in the church.” Wow! You just can’t have a secrecy thing sit over your counsel in this area. Confidential? Yes, I’m not going to talk about you in any kind of way to anyone. Secrecy – I won’t promise I won’t tell someone. You have to keep open the option, that what you’re going to encounter, you need to talk to someone above you.
You’re not an expert, and you may need someone else to advise you. If someone tells you a terrible secret, you’ll be left in a very condemned state if you don’t talk to someone about it. In other words, when they say: ‘You must keep this secret’, they’re about to bring you into the secrecy and darkness that they’ve already had for years. Don’t be tricked into making that kind of commitment, because you may need to tell someone else.
I had one person who came to me, and they had married this woman who had two boys. He began sexually abusing the boys. It came out to me - the man came and confessed his sin. He confessed his sin because he’s in turmoil, absolute turmoil. So I said: “Well, it’s good you’ve become honest. It’s good you brought this to the light; but what you’ve done is wrong. There are many consequences of it.
The first is your relationship with God; we’ll talk with you about returning to the Lord again.” I said: “You’ve betrayed your wife’s trust, and breached your marriage by abusing her children. Secondly, you’ve committed a crime. This is against the law, you’ve broken the law. This kind of crime cannot be hidden - I cannot hide it, neither will I attempt to.” So I said: “There are a couple of options. You need to report to the woman what you’ve been doing. Separate yourself. Inevitably, she will make a complaint to the police. You may choose to go to the police first, and make a confession.”
I said: “I will not be party to anything being covered up. So I’ll give you a season to decide how you’re going to respond. This is a crime. It’s a crime against children; and by law, we have to report this. So I’ll give you an opportunity to take initiative to put the thing right. You will face the consequences. However, the Bible’s very clear – if you confess and forsake, you’ll find mercy. By coming upfront about what you’ve done, will mean there will be leniency in the outcomes. I’ll give you a week, and I’ll ask you at the end of the week what’s happened - I’ll check up.”
Of course, it all came out into the open. Just understand: I refused to be kept in a place of covering a crime. These things come out in the open anyway. I don’t want to be party to concealing something that should be dealt with by proper process.
Can you imagine the reproach on your ministry, if someone was abusing a child, they told you, and you took no action? Your ministry will be discredited - totally discredited! You would be seen to be agreeing with a child molester. This is where churches get confused - they feel sorry for the criminal, they feel compassion for him. That’s okay to feel those things; but you must follow due process, or you become party to this whole issue. You have to be really clear about this.
You need to do it like this: tell them they need to confess their sin to the Lord, and ask for His forgiveness. Assure them their forgiveness will come, but they must turn away from the sin. Repentance is not just saying ‘sorry’. Repentance is: realising I’ve hurt people, and turning away from it because I’ve hurt them.
You need to explain the area of forgiveness – that the person must forgive the people who’ve hurt them. There may be some anger and grief in this area. So, you may take a little bit of time, helping the person face and admit their grief and anger, and being willing to forgive. Forgiveness must come from the heart. From the heart, forgive.
You may say: “Look, you’re still very angry at these people. Why don’t you just do an exercise, and over the next week, you write an anger letter. Write a letter to the person, you’ll never send it to them. It’s to put your anger out of your heart and on paper, where you can see it and resolve it before the Lord. So the person needs to let go of anger about the things that have happened and forgive the person.
Forgiveness is twofold: first of all, forgiving the people who’ve hurt you; second, receiving forgiveness and forgiving yourself. Some people have trouble forgiving themselves. It’s important. Particularly girls often feel great shame - they find it hard to forgive themselves. So you’ve got to talk about that and encourage them: “You need to release yourself from this demand, because God’s already forgiven you.”
Another thing we need to help people do is to understand their need to renounce, or cancel, bondages. What sorts of things would you need to cancel? Well, ungodly sexual soul ties. Inevitably, there’d be soul ties – cut them. Soul ties to pornographic images – cut them. Soul ties to websites – cut those ties.
There may be defensive reactions that need to be renounced, such as: inner vows; judgements; death wishes; and the person may need to renounce each of those. “I must renounce each inner vow I made, that I’d never let a man come near me again. I renounce all bitter judgements I formed against women. I renounce every death wish; I choose life.” So renounce the bondages. Finally, the person needs to then come near to the Lord - ask the Lord to forgive them and set them free.
Let’s do that again. Confession and repentance of sin - the person must turn away from their sin, and then speak words confessing it: “Lord I ask You to forgive me, for the sin of pornography. I ask You to cleanse me, and set me free from all its defilement in my life.” Lead the person in a good confession. Forgiveness; receive forgiveness; and forgive others; and forgive themselves. Renounce bondages – ungodly soul ties, any kinds of defensive reactions, walls in the heart.
So, when we’ve got there, we then need to get involved in ministry. Ministry to the person - you must again, follow the leading of the Holy Spirit. One of the first things I tend to do, is to break the bondages: “In Jesus’ name, I break...” The things you break are of course: the generational curses or iniquity; any soul ties; any bondages like inner vows, or death wishes and so on. “In Jesus’ name, I break them.”
Then, begin to command the spirits. Speak into the person, command spirits to come out. So what kinds of spirits might you come up against? Well, there are all kinds. Let me just give you a few: spirits of lust; spirits of perversion; spirits of idolatry; could be generational spirits. So those are the kinds of spirit things - spirit of pornography; spirit of adultery. Those are some of the obvious ones.
First of all, think about the spirits that have come into the person. Then, begin to think about the reactions the person has made – spirits of hatred, spirits of bitterness, spirits of grief, and spirits of shame. Makes sense? Spirit of self-hate; spirit of death; spirit of torment or hell. I’ve just given you ideas of what you could be looking for; the kinds of spirits that are there.
I tend to think of it in just three layers: spirits that have come in because of the activity itself; spirits that have come in because of the person’s reaction to the offender; then spirits that come in because of the reaction to themselves. The sin itself; reaction to the offender; reaction to themselves. So reactions to yourselves, such as: self hate; shame; bitterness - those kinds of things. Reactions against the offender: hatred of men, or hatred of women; bitterness; anger; rage - those kinds of things; then actually coming in from the sin itself.
I think logically about these things. When it comes to the ministry, the bondage – what are the bondages? 1, 2, 3, 4, break them. What are the sins? What spirits have come in? Go for those. Reaction for the offender – go for those. Reaction to themselves – go for those. Just speak. You find sometimes, if you just mentioned the name, the things come up to the surface.
For example, we were doing ministry in the alter calls, some of you were just laying hands on people; and that’s good – releases the power of God. However, with many of them, there’s no response until I began to name spirits. Always keep in mind that God will give you the names of spirits. It’s just sort of knowing where to look, rather than: woah - not knowing where to look. So, I know where to look: the sin; the offender; and then themselves. When you know where to look, it’s quite simple. So, those are some things we would do.
There are a couple of other things I do, two other things: 1) I ask the Holy Spirit to remove out of the person’s body, soul, and spirit, everything imparted through the relationships. Ask the Holy Spirit to remove out of the person, out of their body, soul, and spirit, everything imparted through the relationships. That makes sense? If something comes into you, ask the Holy Spirit to take it out. “I speak into the spirit, soul, and body. Holy Spirit, I ask that You would remove everything that’s been imparted into them.” I also ask the Holy Spirit to restore every part of them that was scattered. Make sense?
In other words, God does the restoration part. I don’t understand all of that, but I have found that really helpful in bringing a peace and wholeness in the person. I’ve found often, people weep when you pray, because they feel something’s in them. There’s a sort of shame and uncleanness, and you can’t seem to get rid of it - especially women have this difficulty.
“Father I just ask You to remove out of their spirit, soul, and body, everything that was imparted in that relationship. Take it out. Father, every part of their soul and spirit that went out to those relationships, Lord, restore it to them now.” So there’s a kind of that pulling their person back together again. Then, I just ask the Lord to release cleansing holiness back into their life. Release cleansing. “Lord, release Your love, and Your cleansing, into their heart.”
Sometimes people pray that the spirit of virginity would be released into their life. They can’t get back their physical virginity, but they can be restored by God to feel completely clean inside, as though nothing has happened.
So that’s kind of the process of ministry. You can see that you can’t do all of that in an alter call, but you can do that when you’re praying with people. Does that make sense to you? Everything I’ve done in the ministry is to undo something that happened in the whole situation in being involved in sexual sin.
Now, let’s look at the next area which would be after ministry: follow-up. We look at follow-up. Clearly, sexual sin has an impact, which is quite major on a person’s life. First sexual experiences can be particularly impacting on people. Here are a few things you could follow-up with.
1) House cleansing. Are there things they need to get rid of? House cleansing. Are there any items they need to get rid of? It could be magazines, computer files, old love letters, sometimes gifts that were given. Is there anything the person needs to get rid of? Remember: you want them to separate from sin, and to walk with God. So don’t hold on to things - it’s over; if it’s over - it’s over. Let it go.
It may be you need to get rid of letters, or items, or pictures, or anything that’s likely to lead to sin again. Don’t be controlling in this matter. It’s their life - they must be responsible for this journey. So, you can just ask the Holy Spirit: “Are there any items I need to get rid of”. Let the Holy Spirit tell them - you can throw out a few suggestions – computer files, images, videos, books, pictures. Are there things you need to get rid of? Do it quickly. Get the momentum going, of shift - don’t delay it.
2) Are there any relationships the person needs to distance themselves from? To distance means to create a space, so they can repair their life. So, are there any relationships where the person needs to create some space and distance? In other words, if they were sexually involved with someone, are they still in the relationship? If they stay in the relationship, as it is, it’ll just go back to where it was. Once a relationship has turned sexual, the person stops developing intimacy, and it becomes physical. So they need to cut off and separate for awhile, while they begin to walk right with God. You just got to ask the question, and talk about it; but it’s still their decision.
3) Are there any apologies they need to make? Is there anything to be put right? Again, don’t be harsh on this, and demand them. Let the Holy Spirit show you. Is there anyone they need to apologise to? If they’re going to apologise to someone, then you need to instruct them how to do the apology. Otherwise it becomes worse. Sometimes it’s better to just leave it. Sometimes the person needs to actually put at least one right. With the issue of apologies, or restitution, God sometimes doesn’t require it; sometimes He’ll just use one as a sample. The key is to listen to the Holy Spirit.
If a person is to make an apology, there are some things about their apology.
1) There can be no blaming the other person whatsoever - no blame at all. If you’re apologising, you’re owning your own stuff - even if they cooperated. It’s not about that, it’s about you owning your own stuff. So, no blaming whatsoever. All blame must go.
2) You must be clear what you’re apologising for.
3) The person must resolve their own grief and anger. You can’t go to someone, and you’ve got blame in your heart and anger in your heart. It will be a mess. Just won’t work. So the person needs to be free of all anger, free of all blame, and decide what it is they need to apologise for.
It’s probably better to do it personally than with a letter. A letter is incriminating evidence. However, sometimes a letter or brief note can do. If you’re going to make an apology personally, contact the person and say: you’d like to speak to them very briefly, when it’s convenient. It has to be convenient to them. You may need to say “I want to put something right.”
Then, when you’re making the apology, it needs to be very brief. “Thank you for giving me the opportunity to talk with you. God has been speaking to me, and I realised that I have deeply hurt you with my actions.” You identify the pain you’ve caused the other person. So very briefly, don’t go into lots of detail: “I’m so sorry for the distress I’ve caused you. Please forgive me.” Very brief! It takes courage to do that, but it’s amazing what it does in your heart and conscience.
Now, the person may not forgive you, but it’s not important - that’s their issue. The person may not want to see you, so you may be able to speak briefly over the phone, or do it in just a brief note - but keep it short. Quite easily: “Look, you know I’m a Christian, and God has been speaking to me recently. I realised what I did, when I did this, was very hurtful to you. I’m so sorry for the distress I’ve caused. Please forgive me.” That’s it. Sometimes people need to apologise.
4) Here’s the next thing. This is the harder part; and that is – rebuilding your life. If a person’s going to walk clean, they have to do some things differently. I guess there are lots of things you could do. I don’t want to give you a list of all these things: don’t do this, don’t do this - it just won’t work.
I think the beginning is: you must want to be clean, and see that it’s a good thing to be clean. You actually have to want to do this, by having a vision of a life serving God. I need to have a vision before me, of serving God, and having His life flowing through me. So I need to build my life. Pray in tongues everyday - spiritual life gets energised. Meditate in the word of God – begin to meditate in God’s love. Begin to allow God’s love to come round my life. These are very important things to do: meditate in God’s love; confessing His word over your life; daily bringing your life into alignment.
I have found it helpful to speak into my heart, and to speak into my mind. So what are you going to say? Speak into my heart – to command my heart to turn from all fantasies of sexual things. I want to arise in my spirit, and insist my heart align with God; because out of the heart flows the issues of life. If your heart has had fantasies of sexual things, your heart needs to turn from them. So as I speak to my heart, I might be picturing something very destructive, and I’m turning from it, and turning towards the Lord, who’s my friend.
Another thing I’ve found helpful, is to speak into your mind. The reason is, I believe your body will respond to your words. So what are you going to say? Well, Jesus cursed the tree; remember He cursed the tree? What did He say to the tree? No more fruit. So what I’ve found helpful, is to speak into my mind. I curse all the memory trees associated with sexual sin. No more fruit. Wither and die.
Here’s an interesting thing that they’ve discovered. There’s a great book by Caroline Leaf, and they’ve done research that indicate that thoughts actually occupy space in your brain - Neuron Trees. Every time you think about that thought, the tree starts to come alive. If they are destructive thoughts, it’s a thorny tree; if it’s positive thoughts, quite a healthy looking tree - they discovered this by research on the brain.
Here’s the interesting side of it - that the moment you think about those thoughts, they come alive, and subject to change. What if you were to actually picture that tree, just see the tree, and “I curse those thoughts In Jesus’ name”. No more fruit. Literally reject them. See the blood of Jesus; reject them. This is all before anything happens. It’s just a part of building a life with God; setting a life course, before you ever come into the place of temptation, you’ve daily set your course. I have found that helpful.
The next thing you need to do is to capture thoughts when they come. Capture temptations when they come. Capture the thoughts. There’s two ways of capturing the thoughts. In other words, we’ll just give an example - a male example. So, you’re walking down the street, and this woman comes towards you; and she’s dressed quite provocatively. Now, males are designed, immediately, the image and picture will come into the mind, it will start the man down the thinking pattern against her, to begin to look on her as an object. You have to catch the thought. We’ve got to capture it straight away. Capture it. “I refuse to treat a woman like an object. I reject that thought now.” Just capturing it, just like that. The Bible tells us in 2 Corinthians 10:5 - capture your thoughts. It’s like it’s a living thing; and instead of letting it come in and fill your mind - capture it and stop it.
The second is, redirect your attention. Focus on something else. The moment you move your thinking somewhere, you start then, to start a different track going in your mind. Once the mind starts down the thoughts of sexual sin, the body chemistry starts to move. You’ve got a dynamic happening inside you that’s creating energy. So redirect your attention for the next 15 minutes, and all of that brain chemistry will subside. It’s like everything just goes away. You understand? It’s no use saying to yourself - this is the one thing that won’t work - “I shouldn’t think that.” I shouldn’t think: “ooh, that was a bad thought, I shouldn’t think that thought.” That won’t work, because it’s the law. It won’t work. Saying I shouldn’t do it.
I’ll give you an example. Suppose, I put a box up the front here, and it had a button on the top of it. A bit red button, and a sign – ‘Do not press’. Then, I leave it in the front, and I leave you in the room with the box. You know what you’re going to want to do! What happens if I push that? In the end, it’ll become an obsessive thought. No one’s looking? Push the button. In other words, the law – ‘Don’t press’, stimulated sin. The law never saves us, it’s got no power. Telling someone “you shouldn’t do that”, increases the desire to do it.
Suppose we put a little sign up there: ‘Wet paint, don’t touch’. You know what a lot of people will do? They want to touch. The sign is clear; but you see, something is stirred up inside - that’s what the law does. The moment someone says: “You mustn’t do that.” “Why not? I think I’d like to...” The law never helps you in this area.
You are better to treat it like this – instead of saying: ‘I shouldn’t have thought that, I’m such a bad Christian’, that strategy will lead you to failure. Say: “Lord, I’m thinking about this in this way, Lord it’s destructive. I don’t want to think that way, I bring that thought to death, I redirect my attention. Thank you Jesus for Your holiness rising up inside me. You have to deal with it with a spiritual and a practical approach. Trying to condemn yourself is not going to work.
Here’s another thing that’ll help – accountability. Being open with someone about your life, particularly so if someone’s been involved in pornography. You have to remember, accountability is just a way of you being responsible for change; because if you want to, you can always hide what you’re doing. It’s helpful to have some form of accountability. You have to realise that, if I’m asking someone to hold me accountable, it doesn’t mean that now they’ve got the problem - it’s still my problem.
So I frame it up like this: “Look, I’ve been wrestling with this problem. I’m really doing these things to try and break free. I really want to walk in freedom. I want to, each week when we go into the small group meeting, I want to meet up with you. I wonder if you can just ask me how I’m doing; ask me if I’m telling the truth. I just need you to help me keep my commitment to go forward.”
So it’s actually me owning the journey, but someone else helping me in the journey. Otherwise I’ll avoid her, and think: ‘oh, if I go talk to her, she’ll ask me the question, I don’t want her to ask questions. So accountability – I own, it’s my journey, someone is going to help me on my journey.
Get this - that being open, is the way I walk into freedom; because in the past, it was in secrecy. So, for this to happen, it’s important the person doesn’t condemn me. “Oh, why do you do that?! Why do you look at those things?! I told you not to look at those things!” I’m never going to tell her anything after that. So there’s a need for a relationship of openness. It’s the actual openness, free of condemnation, that allows the person’s grace to come free.
So the last thing perhaps we’ll share, in relationship to that, is there needs to be a simple strategy to handle failure - if the person fails, what to do? Inevitably in this journey, failures happen. Just saying, “I’ll never do it again!” – don’t make those promises. You’re probably going to fall. The Bible says: “the steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, though he falls - though he falls - he won’t be cast down, God will lift him up.
So listen, if you fall, whether it be pornography, or masturbation, or something in the relationship - quickly acknowledge it; almost immediately acknowledge it. Quickly repent of it; and then stand up again inside, and hold the blood of Jesus Christ over your life. Because the longer you stay condemned, the more that thing will work in your life.
So if a person fails, as they are often likely to do, I’ll tell them: very quickly, do this immediately after the sin. Quickly turn to the Lord – “Lord I’m so sorry, I confess my sin to you. I’m just so sorry. Lord, I receive Your forgiveness; I receive Your cleansing; and I rise into Your presence again.” Because, the disconnection from God will keep the problem running.
The person must be helped to believe: “Listen, God will forgive you.” Begin to speak the word of God: “I thank You Lord, if we confess our sins, You’re faithful and just to forgive us and cleanse us. I thank you Lord I am forgiven; I’m cleansed; I stand up like it’s never happened.” In other words, there’s a faith stand to stay connected to God - very important. And then it’s helpful to just be open with someone – “Hey, listen, I’m not doing so good.”
So, those are key strategies in this process. One last thing, perhaps - it’s helpful to become aware of what I call “sin cycles”. So you could draw a big circle. Outside the circle at the top, you could put ‘event’, ‘trigger event’. What happens, is that many times, the sin we’re struggling with follows a predictable cycle. It’s like it’s acted out, almost like it’s following a script. So it becomes a cycle.
A cycle is something that keeps repeating, almost the same way. It helps if you understand about a sin cycle. Usually there’s a trigger event – something happened. First thing, something happened. Second thing, you have a negative feeling. Hurt, I’ll put the word hurt – rejected or hurt, hurt feelings. Next thing, number three, is sadness or heaviness. Heaviness is often a sign that sexual sin is about to come – there’s a bit of a depression or heaviness.
At that point, you must redirect your attention; or the next stage in the cycle – pictures of sin, memories of sin, start to come back. When you get to the bottom of the circle, and the person sins. Then, the next part, they feel sad, or guilty. About the next part, 9 o’clock, they start to say I’m sorry. Next part, they’re trying to pray and read the Bible again. Then they’re back to the top again. It follows the same cycle all the time.
I’ve found that with many men who are in sexual sin, they just are there without seeing that there was a process to getting there. It’s like it was acted out. It’s almost like a script. They felt hurt, and negative feelings; began to feel bad about themselves, wanted to feel better; started to remember things that made them feel better, fall into sin; and then say I’m sorry, feel guilty, start to come back out of it again. So that’s what’s called the “sin cycle”; and it’s often fuelled by the rejection that’s in the heart.
The only way to deal with it is to recognise it, and become aware of things as they affect you; and change your behaviour. So, when you feel a bit down, don’t go back to where you were going, change what you do. Do something different, so you break this pattern that’s been formed in your brain chemistry.
Now I notice you’ve got someone coming who’s going to be speaking on addictions, and I have no doubt she will speak on this area – sexual addiction - and give you a lot more information on this topic. It will be helpful for you. What I’ve tried to do is give you just the basics of how you would minister to people. We’ll stop there and give room for questions.
Question and Answer
Can you tell us clearly how to break the sin cycle?
1) You need to be aware of it and recognise it – that I’m following a pattern that’s predictable. In fact, the way the person sins is often predictable. They come into fantasy, they start to dream and think about things. Next step, open the computer. Next step, start to look at certain sites; then they’re into sexual sins. So it’s a predictable pattern. If a person’s got a pattern of failure, recognise the pattern; and the process of acting out. That’s the first step – awareness.
2) They need to then start to ask the Holy Spirit to help them become aware of what their feelings are; and become alert to the first phase, when they start to feel down, just before the draw to sexual sin comes. At that point, when they realise they’re down, they should say: “Actually, I feel like I’m down. I feel quite low in my emotions. I wonder what has triggered this off. Sometimes you just: “Oh yeah, it’s after I spoke with them that I felt quite heavy.” Then they can just resolve it quite quickly.
Even if you don’t get to that stage, one thing you can do is then recognise: if I don’t redirect my attention, I’m going to go down the old track. Instead of going around to the bottom into sin, and back up the other side to the top again. When the person reaches to about 3 o’clock, when they’re feeling a bit down, make the decision to redirect the attention somewhere else; because by redirecting your focus into something that occupies your attention, after about 15 minutes, all your feelings will change as well. Then, you can move out of it. You don’t go down the old sin cycle. After about 15 minutes, if you take a different path, your feelings will shift, because it’s something programmed in you.
We don’t realise that when we sin, and we keep sinning, it often follows a completely predictable pattern, and it becomes programmed in the mind. So, I’ve suggested some prayer strategies for dealing with some of that; but ultimately, you’ve got to form different patterns. Sometimes it’s as simple as get up, go somewhere, and do something else that takes a lot of focus. Put your attention elsewhere - that totally redirects your mind, and the feelings you have will shift as well; then, the temptation subsides.
Divert your attention. Capture the thought, become aware of what you’re feeling, and aware of where this leads; or capture thoughts as they come and stop them, and redirect your attention. The refocusing of your attention changes what you open yourself up to. If you stand trying to fight the thing, it just gets bigger, because you’re focusing on it. What you focus on, you open your life to.
For example, in prayer ministry, if I focus on the other person’s needs too much, it can overwhelm. If I focus on myself, I shut down. If I focus on the Lord, it just opens up the way for God to move. So a simple prayer, and then change your direction. You’ve got to develop a new pattern; and eventually, it becomes the norm. Something happens – capture it, and then redirect your attention, and just change. For some who’d been in sexual sin for a long time, this can take some help, and some work with them.
Here’s one thing to realise: that all sins - the price has already been paid for; the worst thing you can do is live in condemnation, believing: I’m a failure, or something’s wrong with me; when God says: “you’re my son, I love you, you’re forgiven.”
Religious condemnation is a thriving ground for sexual sin. The overall feeling there’s something wrong with me, or I’m bad, or I’m not good enough. If people don’t feel good enough, they want to feel better. How can I feel better quickly? I know, I’ll have a drink. I’ll have a smoke. I’ll turn on the computer - just a little look. Then you’re gone. You go down a path.
It just helps if you understand that your brain gets programmed to follow that path; and that it can just take a little while to reprogram the path. Like we said - sexual sin does something inside you, but God is greater than all of that.
How can we help or minster to a homosexual person?
I’m learning that one! I think, number one, love and accept them - they’re people, and they’re valuable. I think the hardest thing is to get over the belief: this is evil; and the judgement that comes with it. Homosexuals are people too, and they’ve got their own pain, and their own journey. God loves them, and died for them. There are particular problems around homosexuality that create great internal difficulties.
The number one thing, I think, for all people, no matter what they’ve done, is that they feel that you accept them, and are not judging of them as a person. However, for many homosexuals, their identity is so attached to the behaviour, that if you point out things about the behaviour, they consider it an attack on themselves. So this is quite a difficulty; but I think in all helping people, it starts with accepting them. I don’t doubt that there are a number of homosexuals that came to Jesus. He accepted them, He received sinners, and ate with them, but never condoned the behaviour.
The first thing people read is your attitude; and the first thing to get right is attitude. “God, give me a love for every person.” One of the things I do, when I’m introduced or someone I know is a homosexual - I’ll hug them like I’d hug everyone else. Now, I had to work a few things out of my mind over that one; but I’d just hug them as people - they’re people too.
Often, they’re very creative. Often, they’ve been deeply damaged in their relationships, in their family. Often, because of their creativity, they’ve suffered, by not fitting in with the male culture or female culture, so often there are deep roots of rejection in their life. For many of them, they were taken advantage of or abused in some way; and this has opened the door. For some, there was just loneliness, and they were drawn into relationship; looking for the same thing everyone else is looking for – to be loved.
If you can understand that part of a person’s make up, they’re just looking for love in the wrong place, and in the wrong way, and it’s producing a problem in their life. Remember what we said - sexual sin produces problems inside you. Homosexuality produces many problems inside people.
So, the first thing is acceptance; recognition they’re a person of value; and I think to draw them to Christ, who accepts them; rather than trying to fix up the problem. Sometimes as Christians, we sort of want to get people to fix up their life before they can come to God. Whereas God says: I just take you like you are; and then once I’m in your life, I’ll help you on the journey. So, let the power of God get in their life first.
I found Christians often become highly confrontational of the people, because of this thing about the sin, rather than saying: actually, this person’s of great value to God; and only the Holy Spirit has the power to really change them. My job is not to change them. My job is to love them, and to point them to Christ. If you can just stop trying to make them change, and leave God to do the changing; and do what Jesus says to do – love them, pray for them, and bring Christ to them, and help them on their journey with Christ, and let the Lord sort the thing out.
See we have problems of people coming into church, and they’re living together. The way we have chosen to address it, is not to be confrontational about them living together; but to start them on the journey of walking with God, believing that if we connect them to Jesus, and His love for them and His kingdom, and start them walking with God, the Holy Spirit and their own conscience will convict them deeply that this is wrong, and they need to do something about it. So, we give this great window of grace, and don’t worry about some of the things that are happening, believing if I keep them walking with God, that He will speak into their heart and they’ll know it’s wrong.
Having said that, we have a point, when it comes to membership of the church, where we ask the question directly. In order to be a member of the church, we need to ask you some questions, and here’s one question - and go straight for this issue. Now, for almost nearly 99% of people, it’s come up in conversation before we ask that. But we do have a point, we ask it; and they say: “Well, you know, I’m living with this person… blah blah blah”. You say – “Well, let’s talk about that. To be part of this family of God, you actually need to face the situation now.”
It’s sometimes very complicated. So, we have to take each one individually, and help them on their journey. Some of them such a bad deal, and it was a bad thing they got into. To get them out of it is the big deal. Some we need to get them married. It’s not one answer to it all; but it’s: loving them as Christ would love them; and yet telling them the truth, and letting them make the choices how they’ll move forward.
So in terms of healing homosexuals, and getting them totally set free - I haven’t got all the answers, but I know Jesus has the power to heal them. Our focus should stay on doing the things we’re called to do; not things we’re not supposed to do. It’s to love people, and bring Christ to them, and encourage them on the journey with Christ. There’ll always come a point where the issue gets talked about. So it helps if you have some understanding, like what I’ve done today, of God’s design for people - and have some answers prepared to be able to talk and engage around this issue.
It’s becoming a highly political and emotional issue now, and the church is going to have to wrestle its way through it. In New Zealand, they’ve already altered the law, so two same-sex people can marry. Next thing they’ll be trying to change the education system.
So it’s a challenge for us, advancing the kingdom, to present God’s pattern for life; and the benefits of the kingdom come with repentance. The consequences of sin always come if we don’t follow God’s way.
Just now, you said sex is a blessing in God’s legal way in a marriage; but you also said that when two become one, the evil spirit in one person has the right to come into the other. So what if they’re a married couple, and one party has the evil spirit. Then, how does it go? Do I keep having the evil spirit as well?
I think that a relationship which is ungodly is an empowerment of demons to come into the person. In other words, because you’ve become one in an ungodly way, now there’s a right to become tormented. I always think the power of good is greater than the power of evil. If two people are married, I would not expect the married partner to become demonised, because the marriage is sanctified by their faith. I don’t believe that the person will experience demonization at all, because the relationship is in God’s order.
I’ve never seen, I’ve not had one experience, of a person who is married being demonised through their spouse - not one. So it would seem as though, when the relationship is godly, there is no ground for the demon to get in. I can’t give much more than that - I’ll think a bit more about that question too.
It says for example, in 1 Corinthians 7, that if a believer is married to an unbeliever, that the unbeliever is sanctified, or blessed, by the faith of the believer - otherwise the children would be ungodly. So I think one person, believing in faith, has greater influence than we realise.
Father we just thank You for this time together, thank You for Your presence. Thank You for helping us with very difficult situations, to find solutions for people lives.
Father, I pray great grace upon every person here, to flow with the Holy Spirit; to be gentle and loving with people; to be very firm and clear with the truth.
I pray that those who struggled today with some of these issues will experience great victory because of the things we’ve shared today.
I pray for the coming meetings, and ask for Your power to flow, to set people free. In Jesus’ mighty name, Amen.
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我们看一看关于历代的罪孽和咒诅的几处经文。出埃及记二十章2至6节，十诫，“我是耶和华你的 神、曾将你从埃及地为奴之家领出来。除了我以外、你不可有别的神。不可为自己雕刻偶像、也不可作甚么形像、彷彿上天、下地、和地底下、水中的百物． 不可跪拜那些像、也不可事奉他、因为我耶和华你的 神是忌邪的 神、恨我的、我必追讨他的罪、自父及子、直到三四代．爱我守我诫命的、我必向他们发慈爱、直到千代。”这里上帝很清楚的警告我们不准拜偶像。上帝看人是把你当作家人看待。而我们看人，只是看到每个个体。上帝可以看到几代人，他的计划是让福分几代的传下去。福分是上帝的恩惠，是圣灵在我们周遭的流露。当我们与上帝同行，过敬虔的生活，我们的子女就蒙福。他们什么都不用做，就可以领受上帝极大的恩惠。因为他们是爱神的子民的儿女。上帝的设想是每一代能够建立在前一代跟上帝的关系之上，继续的进行。我们每天做的小小的选择，会将我们引向特定的方向。我的岳父母现都已过世，我清楚记得岳父八十岁的生日，全家和朋友们一起庆祝。他们有五个儿女，全部长大结婚，有很多不同年龄的孙子。晚上，当大家一起为他祝寿时，二十个孙子都站起来表达他们对爷爷的爱。这些年来，他一直刻意与上帝同行，为主工作。他也决定在每个孙子身上投资，在他们五至十一岁的年纪时，带他们去度假，有时两三个，有时四五个孩子，一起跟爷爷去度假。他们一起灵修，祷告，一起玩，每个人都可以选择这一天怎样过。这么多年来，他做了各式各样的活动，他相信这种家族历代的产业可以一直传承。在庆祝时，我岳父的兄弟也在场，可他完全走的是另一条路。他拒绝耶稣，现在是第二次婚姻，因为各样的外遇和不忠实，现在又跟别人在一起了。两个女儿都没有结婚，很特别的一家人，也没有孙子女。当他们两兄弟一起长大时，他嘲笑哥哥相信耶稣，可是等到他八十岁时，就可以看出来他当时的决定带出的一生的果效如何。一个与上帝同行，投资在家庭中，有敬虔的产业留下来，有美好的婚姻，稳定的家庭，有爱祖父的孙子女们。而另一个，没有稳定的婚姻，没有稳定的家庭，也没有产业留给孙子女。
同时，罪也是有历代延续的后果的。“不可为自己雕刻偶像、也不可作甚么形像、彷彿上天、下地、和地底下、水中的百物.”（出埃及记二十章4节）。第一个最大的例子就是亚当。他犯罪，我们每一个人生下来都有罪。上帝讲明，有些罪有历代延续的后果。在耶利米哀歌五章2至6节，“我们的产业、归与外邦人．我们的房屋、归与外路人。 我们是无父的孤儿．我们的母亲、好像寡妇。 我们出钱才得水喝．我们的柴是人卖给我们的。 追赶我们的、到了我们的颈项上．我们疲乏不得歇息。 我们投降埃及人、和亚述人、为要得粮吃饱。”。请留意，我们是受人逼迫的，我们的景象是尴尬和羞辱的，上帝给我们的产业已经被别人拿走了，所有的福分都没了，我们像孤儿一样，没有父亲。原来免费喝的水，现在要给钱了，柴也要买了，我们这样劳苦努力，完全不得歇息。还被埃及亚述人捆绑奴役。接着第7节就讲出了问题的源头。“我们列祖犯罪、而今不在了．我们担当他们的罪孽。”。就是说，父母做得不对，子女承担后果。
另一个例子，列王记下五章26，27节，基哈西和以利沙的故事。基哈西贪恋亚兰人乃缦的金银， “ 以利沙对他说、那人下车转回迎你的时候、我的心岂没有去呢。这岂是受银子、衣裳、买橄榄园、葡萄园、牛羊、仆婢的时候呢。 因此乃缦的大麻风必沾染你、和你的后裔、直到永远。基哈西从以利沙面前退出去、就长了大麻风、像雪那样白。”
另外一个例子是以利。撒母耳记上三章13至14节，以利做祭司不衷心，诅咒临到他家。“我曾告诉他必永远降罚与他的家、因他知道儿子作孽、自招咒诅、却不禁止他们。 所以我向以利家起誓说、以利家的罪孽、虽献祭奉礼物、永不能得赎去。” 第二章31节“ 日子必到，我要折断你的膀臂和你父家的膀臂，使你家中没有一个老年人。”33节“我必不从我坛前灭尽你家中的人。那未灭的必使你眼目干瘪，心中忧伤。你家中所生的人都必死在中年。”这里说到以利家历代家族在上帝的坛前做祭司的职位，会被拿走，家中的人会英年早逝，时常忧伤。这个历代的诅咒是拿不掉的。 创世纪中诺亚的儿子迦南受到诅咒，创世纪四章11节该隐和他的后裔也受到了诅咒。
圣经有几处经文提到，利末记二十六章39，40节给我们一个如何帮助人得自由的线索。 上帝说“你们剩下的人、必因自己的罪孽、和祖宗的罪孽、在仇敌之地消灭。他们要承认自己的罪、和他们祖宗的罪、就是干犯我的那罪、并且承认自己行事与我反对 。” 所以，承认自己的罪孽很重要。承认自己的罪，也承认列祖的罪。（尼希米记一章6节及九章37节）（但以理书九章3节）
他需要默想上帝的话，更新自己的想法，改变他的行为和反应。思想和行为必须同时改变。默想上帝的话是真实的，不是我赚得的福分，我只要相信耶稣基督，就能活出蒙福的生命。“ 基督既为我们受了咒诅、就赎出我们脱离律法的咒诅．因为经上记着、『凡挂在木头上都是被咒诅的。』 ”（加拉太书三章13节），所以，罪已经被打破了，我已经不是活在律法之下，我有蒙福的人生。“上帝叫亚伯拉罕的福、因基督耶稣可以临到外邦人、使我们因信得着所应许的圣灵。 ”（加拉太书三章14节）
反省式的祷告，常常省察自己，认清真理。不是到了要服事时才开始做，而是要每天培养，在生命中慢慢建立彰显。我花了很多年的时间，看到上帝的真实运行，才了解到如何服事人。以前做的人都没有告诉我如何做，他们只是在做，我们觉得很震惊。我想做一位就像电视上表演的解密魔术师，把所有的秘诀都告诉你。你明白后，就觉得简单了。当你明白灵界的活力，明白你是新造的人，在基督里完全，他如何我也如何。圣经说效法耶稣的样式，不是在镜子中看到自己，而是在属灵上每天越来越像他。这不是努力得到的，而是要教导我们的心，相信真理，凭着默想和宣告，上帝与我同在。最后一点，“要习练的通达。” (希伯来书五章14节) 。要借着练习，才能通达你的敏锐。
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现在我们来看巫术。在整个邪教中，巫术是非常重要的部分。巫术是从邪灵得着能力，这个能力胜过人，或者胜过环境。巫术就是追求能力，是参与到邪灵中，从灵界将超自然的能力带进世界来。旧约出埃及记第七章10节说，“摩西亚伦进去见法老，就照耶和华所吩咐的行，亚伦把杖丢在法老和臣仆面前，杖就变作蛇。” ，这很壮观的。想像我拿一个木杖一丢，变成了蛇，大家一定尖叫逃出去了。这是很吓人的。可是术士做了什么呢？11节说“ 于是法老召了博士和术士来，他们是埃及行法术的，也用邪术照样而行。 ”英文经文的意思是他们按他们念的咒或秘密的邪术而行，注意这是秘密的法术。现在有两条蛇了，可是摩西的蛇把另一条蛇吞了，他拿起来又变成了杖，这就展现超自然的能力了。
使徒行传第八章9至11节，“有一个人名叫西门，向来在那城里行邪术，妄自尊大，使撒玛利亚的百姓惊奇．。无论大小都听从他，说这人就是那称为神的大能者。 他们听从他，因他久用邪术，使他们惊奇。”这个人在行邪术，对人有很大的影响力，人们都在他的咒底下，在他的影响之下，他的影响是邪恶的。 圣经里形容他自己妄自尊大。巫术中的人，非常自我为中心，不断展现自己的重要性。当腓利来了之后，他受洗信主了。他看到了使徒身上的能力，他就给他钱想得到这样的能力。19节“把这权柄也给我，叫我手按着谁，谁就可以受圣灵。”他渴望有能力，可能是他里面的苦毒在驱动他。“彼得说，你的银子和你一同灭亡吧。因你想神的恩赐是可以用钱买的。 你在这道上无分无关，因为在神面前，你的心不正。 你当懊悔你这罪恶，祈求主，或者你心里的意念可得赦免。 我看出你正在苦胆之中，被罪恶捆绑。”（使徒行传第八章20至23节）西门还是用旧有的方式思想，他明白灵里的交易，付代价得能力。他想我付了代价就应该有能力了。彼得不肯被钱收买，直接找到了问题的根源，“苦毒”。他是被人拒绝和苦毒的一个人，所以他才要能力；他还被罪恶捆绑，里面有自我为中心的自私，生命被扭曲了。
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路加福音第四章33节讲，“在会堂里有一个人，被污鬼的精气附着，大声喊叫说， 唉，拿撒勒的耶稣，我们与你有甚么相干，你来灭我们么，我知道你是谁，乃是 神的圣者。 耶稣责备他说，不要作声，从这人身上出来吧。鬼把那人摔倒在众人中间，就出来了，却也没有害他。”这个人被不洁的污鬼所捆绑，所有的污鬼都是不洁的，很可能这个人就是在性方面犯罪而被捆绑。这里是信徒聚集的会堂，所以应该是一个信徒在性方面犯罪的问题，不知他是如何打开自己的生命，让邪灵进来折磨他的。他被情欲，变态的灵折磨。那么，这是怎样的一种折磨呢？
帖撒罗尼迦前书第四章3至8节，“神的旨意就是要你们成为圣洁，远避淫行。要你们各人晓得怎样圣洁尊贵，守着自己的身体。 不放纵私欲的邪情，像那不认识神的外邦人。不要一个人在这事上越分，欺负他的弟兄。因为这一类的事，主必报应，正如我预先对你们说过，又切切嘱咐你们的。 神召我们，本不是要我们沾染污秽，乃是要我们成为圣洁。 所以那弃绝的，不是弃绝人，乃是弃绝那赐圣灵给你们的神。”
接着看哥林多前书第六章15 ，16节，“岂不知你们的身子是基督的肢体么。我可以将基督的肢体作为娼妓的肢体么。断乎不可。 岂不知与娼妓联合的，便是与他成为一体么。因为主说，『二人要成为一体。』 ”身为信徒，上帝的灵住在我里面，我们是耶稣在世上的代表之一，是基督身体的一部分。参与性犯罪，身上带着的圣灵不想参与。与娼妓结合，就让上帝的灵担忧。
箴言五章22节，“恶人必被自己的罪孽捉住。他必被自己的罪恶如绳索缠绕。” 第六章32，33节，“与妇人行淫的，便是无知，行这事的，必丧掉生命。他必受伤损，必被凌辱。他的羞耻不得涂抹。” 我们看到媒体上曝光的任何淫行的事件，都会给当事人带来极大的羞耻和痛苦。第七章24至27节，“众子阿，现在要听从我，留心听我口中的话。你的心，不可偏向淫妇的道。不要入他的迷途。因为被他伤害仆倒的不少。被他杀戮的而且甚多。他的家是在阴间之路，下到死亡之宫。”这里再次提到伤害，死亡，阴间。如要了解整个引诱和试探，可以参考箴言第六章。
第一，内在誓言。内心里面自己立誓，这是出于愤怒和伤害。如“我再也不要相信男人”或“再也不要相信女人”。如果你内心做了这样的誓言，你的内心就会相信它，你自己可能已经忘记了这个誓言。多年后你结婚了，遇见了一位很棒的男人，可是你的心会说“不要相信他”，不管他有多好，你还是不相信他。关系开始失败， 是因为你内在不信任的引领，你内在的誓言。我有碰见过有人内在誓言不要怀男孩，她每次怀男孩都会流产。当人为保护自己做了内在誓言，就在心里筑起了坚固营垒， 没有了生育能力。
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我們看一看關於曆代的罪孽和咒詛的幾處經文。出埃及記二十章2至6節，十誡，“我是耶和華你的 神、曾將你從埃及地[為爲]奴之家領出來。除了我以外、你不可有別的神。不可爲自己雕刻偶像、也不可作甚麽形像、彷彿上天、下地、和地底下、水中的百物． 不可跪拜那些像、也不可事奉他、因為我耶和華你的 神是忌邪的 神、恨我的、我必追討他的罪、自父及子、直到三四代．愛我守我誡命的、我必曏他們發慈愛、直到千代。”這裡上帝很清楚的警告我們不準拜偶像。上帝看人是把你當作家人看待。而我們看人，衹是看到每個個體。上帝可以看到幾代人，他的計劃是讓福分幾代的傳下去。福分是上帝的恩惠，是聖靈在我們周遭的流露。當我們與上帝衕行，過敬虔的生活，我們的子女就蒙福。他們什麽都不用做，就可以領受上帝極大的恩惠。因為他們是愛神的子民的兒女。上帝的設想是每一代能夠建立在前一代跟上帝的關係之上，繼續的進行。我們每天做的小小的選擇，會將我們引曏特定的方曏。我的岳父母現都已過世，我清楚記得岳父八十歲的生日，全家和朋友們一起慶祝。他們有五個兒女，全部長大結婚，有很多不衕年齡的孫子。晚上，當大家一起爲他祝壽時，二十個孫子都站起來錶達他們對爺爺的愛。這些年來，他一直刻意與上帝衕行，爲主工作。他也決定在每個孫子身上投資，在他們五至十一歲的年紀時，帶他們去度假，有時兩三個，有時四五個孩子，一起跟爺爺去度假。他們一起靈修，禱告，一起玩，每個人都可以選擇這一天怎樣過。這麽多年來，他做了各式各樣的活動，他相信這種家族曆代的産業可以一直傳承。在慶祝時，我岳父的兄弟也在場，可他完全走的是另一條路。他拒絶耶穌，現在是第二次婚姻，因為各樣的外遇和不忠實，現在又跟別人在一起了。兩個女兒都沒有結婚，很特別的一家人，也沒有孫子女。當他們兩兄弟一起長大時，他嘲笑哥哥相信耶穌，可是等到他八十歲時，就可以看出來他當時的決定帶出的一生的果效如何。一個與上帝衕行，投資在家庭中，有敬虔的産業留下來，有美好的婚姻，穩定的家庭，有愛祖父的孫子女們。而另一個，沒有穩定的婚姻，沒有穩定的家庭，也沒有産業留給孫子女。
衕時，罪也是有曆代延續的後果的。“不可爲自己雕刻偶像、也不可作甚麽形像、彷彿上天、下地、和地底下、水中的百物.”（出埃及記二十章4節）。第一個最大的例子就是亞當。他犯罪，我們每一個人生下來都有罪。上帝講明，有些罪有曆代延續的後果。在耶利米哀歌五章2至6節，“我們的産業、歸與外邦人．我們的房屋、歸與外路人。 我們是無父的孤兒．我們的母親、好像寡婦。 我們出錢才得水喝．我們的柴是人賣給我們的。 追趕我們的、到了我們的頸項上．我們疲乏不得歇息。 我們投降埃及人、和亞述人、[為爲]要得糧吃飽。”。請留意，我們是受人逼迫的，我們的景象是尷尬和羞辱的，上帝給我們的産業已經被別人拿走了，所有的福分都沒了，我們像孤兒一樣，沒有父親。原來免費喝的水，現在要給錢了，柴也要買了，我們這樣勞苦努力，完全不得歇息。還被埃及亞述人捆綁奴役。接著第7節就講出了問題的源頭。“我們列祖犯罪、而今不在了．我們擔[噹當]他們的罪孽。”。就是説，父母做得不對，子女承擔[后後]果。
另一個例子，列王記下五章26，27節，基哈西和以利沙的故事。基哈西貪戀亞蘭人乃縵的金銀， “ 以利沙對他説、那人下車轉回迎你的時候、我的心豈沒有去呢。這豈是受銀子、衣裳、買橄欖園、葡萄園、牛羊、僕婢的時候呢。 因此乃縵的大麻風必沾染你、和你的[后後]裔、直到永遠。基哈西從以利沙麵前退出去、就長了大麻風、像雪那樣白。”
另外一個例子是以利。撒母耳記上三章13至14節，以利做祭司不衷心，詛咒臨到他家。“我曾告訴他必永遠降罰與他的家、因他知道兒子作孽、自招咒詛、卻不禁止他們。 所以我曏以利家起誓説、以利家的罪孽、雖獻祭奉禮物、永不能得贖去。” 第二章31節“ 日子必到，我要折斷你的膀臂和你父家的膀臂，使你家中沒有一個老年人。”33節“我必不從我[壇罈]前滅盡你家中的人。那未滅的必使你眼目幹癟，心中憂傷。你家中所生的人都必死在中年。”這裡説到以利家歷代家族在上帝的壇前做祭司的職位，會被拿走，家中的人會英年早逝，時常憂傷。這個歷代的詛咒是拿不掉的。 創世紀中諾亞的兒子迦南受到詛咒，創世紀四章11節該隱和他的後裔也受到了詛咒。
聖經有幾處經文提到，利末記二十六章39，40節給我們一個如何幫助人得自由的[綫線]索。 上帝説“你們剩下的人、必因自己的罪孽、和祖宗的罪孽、在仇敵之地消滅。他們要承認自己的罪、和他們祖宗的罪、就是幹犯我的那罪、並且承認自己行事與我反對 。” 所以，承認自己的罪孽很重要。承認自己的罪，也承認列祖的罪。（尼希米記一章6節及九章37節）（但以理書九章3節）
他需要默想上帝的話，更新自己的想法，改變他的行為和反應。思想和行為必須衕時改變。默想上帝的話是真實的，不是我賺得的福分，我衹要相信耶穌基督，就能活出蒙福的生命。“ 基督既爲我們受了咒詛、就贖出我們脫離律法的咒詛．因為經上記著、『凡掛在木頭上都是被咒詛的。』 ”（加拉太書三章13節），所以，罪已經被打破了，我已經不是活在律法之下，我有蒙福的人生。“上帝叫亞伯拉罕的福、因基督耶穌可以臨到外邦人、使我們因信得著所應許的聖靈。 ”（加拉太書三章14節）
反省式的禱告，常常省察自己，認清真理。不是到了要服事時才開始做，而是要每天培養，在生命中慢慢建立彰顯。我花了很多年的時間，看到上帝的真實運行，才了解到如何服事人。以前做的人都沒有告訴我如何做，他們衹是在做，我們覺得很震驚。我想做一位就像電視上錶演的解密魔術師，把所有的秘訣都告訴你。你明白後，就覺得簡單了。當你明白靈界的活力，明白你是新造的人，在基督裏完全，他如何我也如何。聖經説效法耶穌的樣式，不是在鏡子中看到自己，而是在屬靈上每天越來越像他。這不是努力得到的，而是要教導我們的心，相信真理，憑著默想和宣告，上帝與我衕在。最[后後]一點，“要習練的通達。” (希伯來書五章14節) 。要借著練習，才能通達你的敏鋭。
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現在我們來看巫術。在整個邪教中，巫術是非常重要的部分。巫術是從邪靈得著能力，這個能力勝過人，或者勝過環境。巫術就是追求能力，是參與到邪靈中，從靈界將超自然的能力帶進世界來。舊約出埃及記第七章10節說，“摩西亞倫進去見法老，就照耶和華所吩咐的行，亞倫把杖丟在法老和臣仆面前，杖就變作蛇。” ，這很壯觀的。想像我拿一個木杖一丟，變成了蛇，大家一定尖叫逃出去了。這是很嚇人的。可是術士做了什麼呢？11節說“ 於是法老召了博士和術士來，他們是埃及行法術的，也用邪術照樣而行。 ”英文經文的意思是他們按他們念的咒或秘密的邪術而行，注意這是秘密的法術。現在有兩條蛇了，可是摩西的蛇把另一條蛇吞了，他拿起來又變成了杖，這就展現超自然的能力了。
使徒行傳第八章9至11節，“有一個人名叫西門，向來在那城裡行邪術，妄自尊大，使撒瑪利亞的百姓驚奇．。無論大小都聽從他，說這人就是那稱為神的大能者。 他們聽從他，因他久用邪術，使他們驚奇。”這個人在行邪術，對人有很大的影響力，人們都在他的咒底下，在他的影響之下，他的影響是邪惡的。 聖經裡形容他自己妄自尊大。巫術中的人，非常自我為中心，不斷展現自己的重要性。當腓利來了之后，他受洗信主了。他看到了使徒身上的能力，他就給他錢想得到這樣的能力。19節“把這權柄也給我，叫我手按著誰，誰就可以受聖靈。”他渴望有能力，可能是他裡面的苦毒在驅動他。“彼得說，你的銀子和你一同滅亡吧。因你想神的恩賜是可以用錢買的。 你在這道上無分無關，因為在神面前，你的心不正。 你當懊悔你這罪惡，祈求主，或者你心裡的意念可得赦免。 我看出你正在苦膽之中，被罪惡捆綁。”（使徒行傳第八章20至23節）
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路加福音第四章33節講，“在會堂裡有一個人，被污鬼的精氣附著，大聲喊叫說， 唉，拿撒勒的耶穌，我們與你有甚麼相干，你來滅我們麼，我知道你是誰，乃是 神的聖者。 耶穌責備他說，不要作聲，從這人身上出來吧。鬼把那人摔倒在眾人中間，就出來了，卻也沒有害他。”這個人被不潔的污鬼所捆綁，所有的污鬼都是不潔的，很可能這個人就是在性方面犯罪而被捆綁。這裡是信徒聚集的會堂，所以應該是一個信徒在性方面犯罪的問題，不知他是如何打開自己的生命，讓邪靈進來折磨他的。他被情欲，變態的靈折磨。那麼，這是怎樣的一種折磨呢？
帖撒羅尼迦前書第四章3至8節，“神的旨意就是要你們成為聖潔，遠避淫行。要你們各人曉得怎樣聖潔尊貴，守著自己的身體。 不放縱私欲的邪情，像那不認識神的外邦人。不要一個人在這事上越分，欺負他的弟兄。因為這一類的事，主必報應，正如我預先對你們說過，又切切囑咐你們的。 神召我們，本不是要我們沾染污穢，乃是要我們成為聖潔。 所以那棄絕的，不是棄絕人，乃是棄絕那賜聖靈給你們的神。”
接著看哥林多前書第六章15 ，16節，“豈不知你們的身子是基督的肢體麼。我可以將基督的肢體作為娼妓的肢體麼。斷乎不可。 豈不知與娼妓聯合的，便是與他成為一體麼。因為主說，『二人要成為一體。』 ”身為信徒，上帝的靈住在我裡面，我們是耶穌在世上的代表之一，是基督身體的一部分。參與性犯罪，身上帶著的聖靈不想參與。與娼妓結合，就讓上帝的靈擔憂。
箴言五章22節，“惡人必被自己的罪孽捉住。他必被自己的罪惡如繩索纏繞。” 第六章32，33節，“與婦人行淫的，便是無知，行這事的，必喪掉生命。他必受傷損，必被凌辱。他的羞恥不得涂抹。” 我們看到媒體上曝光的任何淫行的事件，都會給當事人帶來極大的羞恥和痛苦。第七章24至27節，“眾子阿，現在要聽從我，留心聽我口中的話。你的心，不可偏向淫婦的道。不要入他的迷途。因為被他傷害仆倒的不少。被他殺戮的而且甚多。他的家是在陰間之路，下到死亡之宮。”這裡再次提到傷害，死亡，陰間。如要了解整個引誘和試探，可以參考箴言第六章。
第一，內在誓言。內心裡面自己立誓，這是出於憤怒和傷害。如“我再也不要相信男人”或“再也不要相信女人”。如果你內心做了這樣的誓言，你的內心就會相信它，你自己可能已經忘記了這個誓言。多年后你結婚了，遇見了一位很棒的男人，可是你的心會說“不要相信他”，不管他有多好，你還是不相信他。關系開始失敗， 是因為你內在不信任的引領，你內在的誓言。我有碰見過有人內在誓言不要懷男孩，她每次懷男孩都會流產。當人為保護自己做了內在誓言，就在心裡筑起了堅固營壘， 沒有了生育能力。