What God Says...

Introduction I The Library

"Deliverance Ministry"?
Can Christians be indwelled by demons? - or be affected by a "generational curse"?

Roy Ingbre April 2007

(This is not an exhaustive study, yet it points to scriptures that clears up a lot of confusion on this subject)

If you are currently involved with or have taken part in a "deliverance ministry", I encourage you to be open to what God says in His Word and not ideas and concepts derived by man. Also, make sure to keep the main thing the main thing;

Luke 10:20: Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.

We are encouraged to receive the spoken word but more importantly to search the scripture to see "Whether these things are so"......(See "God's Word - foundational truth") 
Rom 10:17  So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
Act 17:11  These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so. 
I. Demons and Christians

First of all let us establish some facts. In the "deliverance ministry" there are basically two main entities to deal with - Satan and his demon(s) and/or  "generational curse(s)". Both need an outside person to administer the deliverance.  This is how Jesus summed up his ministry and it should be ours as well;

Luke 4:18: The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, 19: To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.

The Bible however, does not talk of a specific "deliverance ministry", but rather that these sign shall follow those who believe....

Mar 16:17-18  And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover." 

Them that believe!

You mean Prophets, Pastors, Evangelists, Teachers,  etc. right? What part of  "them that believe" do we not understand? In other words, according to God's Word, if you believe, you qualify. 

That is not to say that we do not need equipping. Definitely so. A brand new Christian is not likely to move ahead in knowledge and wisdom although he might have an incredible faith. It’s like you might be a great pilot and have an abundance of enthusiasm in reaching your destination, but all the enthusiasm in the world will not help if you fly by the wrong chart. Like I heard the other day; "A genius without a road map will get lost in any country"

So, there needs to be equipping and the "road map" is God's Word.

Paul says that God gave these; apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers to equip the saints for the work of the ministry...

Eph 4:11-12  And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12  for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ,... 
Having said that however, it seems that in the name of being equipped there seem to be a very great emphasis on ability, personality and improvement rather than in the order that God chooses. He puts a very clear emphasis on faithfulness before ability;
2Ti 2:2  And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also. 

2Ti 2:15  Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 

Now, let’s see if we can apply that here. It's interesting to note that there is not a single incident in the Bible of a Christian being delivered from a demon. Most  people in the "deliverance ministry" admit this, but they say it is evident by their personal experience. 

Here is what a few leaders have to say (as quoted from Miles J. Stanford Jan 1992);

Question: "Can Christians be demonized (possessed by a demon)?"

Dr. Kurt Koch - "American theologians say 'no', but those of us who have had experience with the demonized say 'yes'."

Question: "Is it possible for a Christian to be demonized?"

Mrs. Jessie Penn-Lewis - "Without hesitation, Yes. For if you have proved it in your own experience, you have no other answer to give...."

Question: "Does it say in the Bible that demons can enter Christians?"

Evan Roberts (emotionally ill leader of the Welsh Revival) - "There is no specific instance given in scripture that Christians can be possessed by demons, but the principle is there; and you can understand the principle by experience". (The Overcomer, 1912)

Red lights are flashing all over the place!!

Since when can anyone arbitrarily make a doctrine out of something they experience without clearly backing it up with the written Word of God, which is our only source for a solid and sure foundation. If so, then we are making our own individual experience the foundation for teaching human "christian" philosphy.

The other day I was actually told by someone who is actively involved in the "deliverance ministry" that Peter was posessed by a demon when Jesus addressed Satan;

Matthew 16:23: But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get behind me, Satan: thou are an offence to me: for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.

Just previous to that, Jesus asked the disciples a question and Peter was the one who gave the answer and Jesus made a statement about Peter and his confession. It certainly does not sound like Peter was demon posessed does it?;

Matthew 16:15: He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?
16: And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.
17: And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Bar–jona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.

18: And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

19: And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

Reading something into scripture that is not there is common, to underpin ones opinion. Peter was conserned about Jesus' life and was protective, but did not know that Satan used his words to try to get to Jesus and prevent him from going to the cross. That's a far cry from saying that Peter was posessed by a demon!!

In the "deliverance ministry", people who believe that a Christian can be indwelled (possessed) by a demon may very well confuse a Christian with one that is not. One that is just talking and acting like one. Hence a "christian" can have a demon. Just like the one in Matt. 12:43-45 who was not a believer and the end was worse that the beginning. We will touch on this later.

Listen to what Paul says about being deceived into believing someone is a Christian when he is not......

2Co 11:13-15  For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. 14  And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. 15  Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works. 
In other words it's not strange that someone can act and talk like a Christian without being one. Personally I have met several that confess they are Christians, but when asked if they are born again, say 'no'. Some of these go regularly to church and some of these may sit in the pew next to you without you knowing it.

Here is an example of a research done by Barna Research Group; 

In this study born again Christians are not defined on the basis of characterizing themselves as "born again" but based upon their answers to two questions. The first is "have you ever made a personal commitment to Jesus Christ that is still important in your life today?" If the respondent says "yes," then they are asked a follow-up question about life after death. One of the seven perspectives a respondent may choose is "when I die, I will go to Heaven because I have confessed my sins and have accepted Jesus Christ as my savior." Individuals who answer "yes" to the first question and select this statement as their belief about their own salvation are then categorized as "born again."

The question that demands an answer is whether these questions qualifies the persons knowledge and understanding of who Jesus is. The Bible clearly explains that we must believe He is the Son of God and that He died for our sins. It seems that a great percentage of the people that answered Yes did not have a clue as to what that really meant. Just look at their answers to these questions in this study;
Born Again
All "Christians"
The Bible is totally accurate in all of its teachings. (2005)
Personally have a responsibility to tell other people their religious beliefs  (2005)
My religious faith is very important in my life (2004)
Satan is not a living being but is a symbol of evil (2005)
if a person is good enough they can earn a place in Heaven.(2005)
while he lived on earth, Jesus committed sins, like other people(2005)
Believe in  moral absolutes (2002)
Not one single 100% among the whole bunch???  Not only that, but from the answers to some of the questions, you would wonder if these people are really born again by the Spirit. So much for being categorized as being born again!

So, again I would reiterate - when encountering spirits or demons in so-called “Christians”, they are not born again Christians at all. We live in a the western world where a lot of people call themselves Christians that are not. Certainly at election time it’s popular to affiliate with Christianity to get their votes.

Some years back we participated in something called Evangelism Explosion. We went in pairs from house to house and did a survey and one of the questions we asked was; “Do you believe you will go to heaven when you die?”  Most people said yes. When we asked why God should let them into heaven most people started to qualify themselves by good deeds, being a good person etc.

One Sunday afternoon sitting and reflecting on this after lunch a rather blunt sentence dropped into my mind: “Don’t take Heaven for granted, you could be in for a Hell of a surprise”  I think that says it plainly.  But a lot of people still do and call themselves Christians.

Again, a “believer” or a “Christian” may not be that at all. What is needed among born again Christians and specifically those in governing ministry is discernment. Just look at Ananias and Sapphira. They took on an appearance of being part of the Christians. However, look what Peter says to Ananias;

Act 5:4  While it remained, was it not your own? And after it was sold, was it not in your own control? Why have you conceived this thing in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God." 
Act 5:5  Then Ananias, hearing these words, fell down and breathed his last. So great fear came upon all those who heard these things. 
Pretending to be a Christian could prove fatal.

Peter discerned what was wrong. Do the ministers of the Gospel today do the same? Maybe if we did, there would be more fear of God in our midst, leading people to repentance.

Here is another example of pretending. Simon the sorcerer was even baptized. He believed because he saw the miracles. Believed what? That there was power behind what Philip was doing. Except Simon was a businessman. He looked for an opportunity to make money with this. Just follow the story;

Act 8:13-23:  Then Simon himself also believed; and when he was baptized he continued with Philip, and was amazed, seeing the miracles and signs which were done.  17  Then they laid hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.  18  And when Simon saw that through the laying on of the apostles' hands the Holy Spirit was given, he offered them money,  19  saying, "Give me this power also, that anyone on whom I lay hands may receive the Holy Spirit."  20  But Peter said to him, "Your money perish with you, because you thought that the gift of God could be purchased with money!  21  You have neither part nor portion in this matter, for your heart is not right in the sight of God.  22  Repent therefore of this your wickedness, and pray God if perhaps the thought of your heart may be forgiven you.  23  For I see that you are poisoned by bitterness and bound by iniquity." 
Simon “believed” and was baptized, yet according to Peter’s discernment he was not even a Christian; “Your money perish with you”.....You have neither part nor portion in this matter. He told him to repent that he might perhaps receive forgiveness.

Another example which is not often preached on is Judas Iscariot. He was chosen by Jesus Christ to be a disciple. He was part of the ministry of the disciples;

Matthew 10:5-8: These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: 6: But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. 7: And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand. 8: Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.

Matthew 10:1: And when he had called unto him his twelve disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease.

Judas Iscariot was a thief, yet Jesus did not point this out and apparently the disciples was not aware of it either, until later;

John 12:4: Then saith one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, which should betray him,
5: Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor? 6: This he said, not that he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and had the bag, and bare what was put therein.

It was not until Judas plotted to betray Jesus that Satan enteterd him,
and It is not until someone chooses deliberately to turn away from or against Christ that they are a candidate for being posessed by the devil;

Luke 22:3: Then entered Satan into Judas surnamed Iscariot, being of the number of the twelve. 4: And he went his way, and communed with the chief priests and captains, how he might betray him unto them.

Christians are forgiven because they are washed in the blood of Christ and do not perish! That obviously was not the case with Simon. At least not up to that point that we read about.

This is how Neil T. Anderson explains how The Holy Spirit and a demon can both inhabit a believer;

"The god of this world occupies a place in our atmosphere, and so does the Holy Spirit. And Satan presently has access to our Father in heaven. So it should not be thought impossible that demons influence or partially control the life of one in whom the Holy Spirit also Dwells. If this possibility is difficult for you to swallow, I encourage you to read Demon Possession and the Christian, by C. Fred Dickason (Bondage, p.180)"  

He is very careful with his words here, using "influence" and "partial control" rather than possession or demonizing. However it is clear what he means by trying to prove that the devil and the Holy Spirit can inhabit the same space (or place). Trying to bring validity to his position he is referencing another author to try to convince you rather that bringing forth compelling evidence from the scripture. 

According to Anderson the god of this world (Satan) and the Holy Spirit occupies a place in our atmosphere and on that basis he draws the analogy that Satan and the Holy Spirit can also co-exist in a human (Christian person's) body.

First of all the atmosphere is a confined created space around the earth that makes us able to live and breathe and it is absolutely ludicrous to think in such limited fashion when we are talking about the God of the universe. We only see the dark part of God's entire Domain, the part that has to be illuminated by the Sun. The earth and its atmosphere is just a dust particle in His unfathomable domain.

God the Holy Spirit is Omnipotent.  However Satan is not. Remember he was cast out of heaven and down to earth (see ref. scriptures below). He is limited to the earth and its spheres. Besides, that's all he's interested in, since that's where the people are whom he is trying to deceive. What did Satan answer when God asked him where he's been? 

Job 1:7  And the LORD said to Satan, "From where do you come?" So Satan answered the LORD and said, "From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking back and forth on it."
Can we fully understand all of this? Possibly not. Do we need to. Probably not. But we do need to understand our relationship to God and our position with Him, how we fight against evil with the weapons He has given us as we live a redeemed life here on earth in preparation for eternity with Him.

We know that Satan was cast out of heaven and down to earth. That he can communicate with God does not mean he has access to God's specific Holy domain in Heaven. 

Just as God instructed Moses to build the Tabernacle with three distinct compartments. First there was the Court where all the people of Israel were in, then within that was the Holy Place for the priests and within that the Holiest of Holy where only the High Priest was allowed in once a year to sacrifice for the sin of the people. Outside the Tabernacle was the world. God obviously fills the entire universe and the devil is allowed to exist in the earthly realm, just as unholy mankind are allowed to exist on earth until judgment day. It says in Job that he (the devil) presented himself before the Lord. 

Job 1:6  Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came among them. 12  ........So Satan went out from the presence of the LORD. 
We do that too, because God's presence is everywhere, but it does not mean that we are standing physically in a specific place in heaven before the throne of almighty God. That is read into the text with absolutely no validity whatsoever and contrary to what the Bible says. Even Moses who communicated intimately with God, was not permitted to see Him. 

Furthermore, the Temple throughout the Old Testament was the Temple of God. It was a confined place that was HOLY, not accessible for the gentiles. It was the ungodly and unrighteous and those who practiced evil that defiled the Temple. We are told that our body is the Temple of the Holy Spirit and as a Christian - a born again believer, we are the Temple of The Holy Spirit - ONLY!

1Co 6:19  Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? 
When the Bible says we are seated with Christ in the heavenly (or high) places, it obviously does not mean physically, but spiritually, since we are not up in heaven somewhere fighting...
Eph 6:12  For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places
Jesus taught us to pray; ...."Your will be done in earth as it is in heaven". God's perfect will is done in heaven and He does not co-exist in heaven with Satan (He cast him out, remember), otherwise His perfect will would not be exercised, nor does He co-exist in a human being with a demon. Similarly he does not allow Satan to dwell with Him in the Temple of the Holy Spirit - our body. 
Isa 14:12-13  "How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground, You who weakened the nations! 13  For you have said in your heart: 'I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation On the farthest sides of the north; 
Luk 10:18  And He said to them, "I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven". 

Rev 12:9  So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. 

Rev 12:12  Therefore rejoice, O heavens, and you who dwell in them! Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time." 

1Co 6:19  Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? 

Furthermore the Bible gives a clear picture of separation, and establishes that righteousness and lawlessness must not co-exist, Neither can Christ and Belial or Light and Darkness. Would God go against His own Word and principle and allow a demon to dwell with Him in a believer when He says that we are not to? How ridiculous!....
2Co 6:14-15  Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? 15  And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? 16  And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. 17  Therefore "COME OUT FROM AMONG THEM AND BE SEPARATE, SAYS THE LORD. DO NOT TOUCH WHAT IS UNCLEAN, AND I WILL RECEIVE YOU." 
Would you not say that if a demon resided in the Temple of God that it would be defiled?
1Co 3:17  If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are. 
In the Old Testament the Temple was a Holy place that must never be defiled. Only Jews could enter the temple. There was a clear separation. No co-existence with anything else. 
Act 21:28  .......and furthermore he also brought Greeks into the temple and has defiled this holy place."
Jesus cleansed the Temple rather physically when he drove out the merchants and the money changers. He would not allow anyone to even carry wares through the temple...
Mar 11:15-17  So they came to Jerusalem. Then Jesus went into the temple and began to drive out those who bought and sold in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves. 16  And He would not allow anyone to carry wares through the temple. 17  Then He taught, saying to them, "Is it not written, 'MY HOUSE SHALL BE CALLED A HOUSE OF PRAYER FOR ALL NATIONS' ? But you have made it a 'DEN OF THIEVES.'" 
Now, before anyone would draw the analogy that the temple would signify a Christian and those people someone who had come to "dwell" there that should not have, we must also remember that Jesus told the Pharisees which were the keepers of the Temple that they were of their father the devil. In other words they were not "Christians" or redeemed believers in Jesus Christ. 

Believing in the unsubstantiated notion that a born again believer that has been cleansed by the blood of Jesus Christ can have a demon dwelling within him in the TEMPLE where the Holy Spirit abides is rather absurd.

To believe that it is because of a demon that a Christian have a certain problem is kind of convenient and in total line with the age of instant gratification. Just get delivered and your problems are over! whola! Just a quick fix and no more battles to worry about! Besides it makes for good “Christian” business and sells a lot of books and other material on the subject. The “fix” is in my book!! No personal responsibility, discipline or effort to change.

Reality tells me it's not quite that simple. Rather we as Christians are fighting battles with our own Flesh (within), the World (influence) and the Devil (throwing fiery darts at us Eph 6:16).

We are told that we are in a warfare aganst spiritual wickedness and as Christians we are all engaged and we must be "dressed" accordingly...

Ephesians 6:11,12: Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

Remember the man who was delivered from a demon. It was empty and swept and  seven more demons came and made it worse. Do you think for one moment that the unclean spirit would have entered the man if the Holy Spirit had been there??
He had access because there was no Holy Spirit there. It was EMPTY!

Mat 12:43-45  "When an unclean spirit goes out of a man, he goes through dry places, seeking rest, and finds none. 44  Then he says, 'I will return to my house from which I came.' And when he comes, he finds it empty, swept, and put in order. 45  Then he goes and takes with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter and dwell there; and the last state of that man is worse than the first. So shall it also be with this wicked generation." 
This man might have been delivered from an unclean spirit, but he was not born again, because the Scripture clearly tells us that without the Holy Spirit dwelling in us we are not His....
Rom 8:9  But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His
He also explains and draws a parallel between that person and this wicked  generation - NOT the believers.

James explains who is responsible for giving in to temptations;

Jas 1:14-15  But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. 15  Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death. 
God further tells us in Proverbs that we stand and fall on our own, not because of someone else. It's called accountability.
Pro 9:12  If thou be wise, thou shalt be wise for thyself: but if thou scornest, thou alone shalt bear it. 
"The devil made me do it" won't cut it!

Believing there can be a demon and the Holy Spirit within us at the same time, one would wonder how much of each to make any part win the battle. At 50/50 it would be a standoff. 60/40 partial victory? At what point would the demon leave? At what point would the Holy Spirit leave? And why would anyone need human help ("deliverance ministry") to get rid of the demon, since the Holy Spirit is there, who is far more powerful. Besides God says very clearly that greater is he that is IN YOU, that he that is IN THE WORLD;

I John 4:4: Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.

When Jesus cast out a demon or healed someone, he said; "sin no more". In other words there had to be a change and it was up to the individual to be responsible for that change. 

Here is a clear example of how the Holy Spirit and the evil spirit cannot be in the same vessel at the same time. Only when God's Spirit left, was the evil spirit sent.

When the Spirit of the LORD departed from Saul, The Lord sent an evil spirit to trouble him. Then when David played, the evil spirit departed. The next time it happened, David played as usual, but Saul had a javelin in his hand.

After the Spirit of God had departed, the evil spirit came...

1Sa 16:14  But the Spirit of the LORD departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the LORD troubled him. 
Here we see an example of the evil spirit departing when someone else was ministering. However, the Spirit of the Lord was not there. It had already departed (v14). Similar to the man earlier who was delivered, but the Holy Spirit was not there and it got worse, just as it did with Saul. Saul even prophesied under the influence of an evil spirit, while he had murder on his mind. Later on he killed himself.
1Sa 16:23  And it came to pass, when the evil spirit from God was upon Saul, that David took an harp, and played with his hand: so Saul was refreshed, and was well, and the evil spirit departed from him.

1Sa 18:10  And it came to pass on the morrow, that the evil spirit from God came upon Saul, and he prophesied in the midst of the house: and David played with his hand, as at other times: and there was a javelin in Saul's hand.

Jesus provided victory over Satan on the cross and He gave us the weapons to secure that victory, because Satan, being the father of lies has never stopped asking the question; "has God really said?" The most important weapon against Satan is the shield of faith, which will stop ALL his attempts at derailing us.

Just recently in conversation with a friend, while discussing this, he pointed out that the Shield (of Faith) is the only one in addition to the Sword that moves around according to how we are attacked or attacking in the battle against the enemy. The helmet of salvation and the breastplate of righteousness are stationary. They are fundamental in our redeemed life and the shield protects all areas of our life as we proclaim the truth with the sword (which is the Word of God).

Eph 6:16  above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one
According to Paul, as he refers to himself, if we should take this notion with demons ability to indwell a Christian seriously, it really sounds like Paul has one. He talks about sin that dwells in him, that he has a problem with doing what he wants to do. He says he delights in the law of God according to the inward man, but that there is another law in his members that war against the law of his mind. However, in sheer desperation he says; "Who will deliver me from this body of death? I Thank God -  though Jesus Christ". Did Paul have a demon? NO, of course not. He was explaining the battle we all face between our flesh and the spirit of our mind.
Rom 7:18-25  For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. 19 For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice.  20  Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. 21  I find then a law, that evil is present with me, the one who wills to do good. 22  For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man. 23  But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. 24  O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? 25  I thank God—through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin.

It's interesting when Paul talks about strongholds, it's clear that he is referring to the mind rather than being possessed by a demon and out of control needing someone else to deliver them.

2Co 10:4-6  For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, 5  casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, 6  and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled. 
How do you bring every thought into the obedience of Christ? We go to the Word - the "manual". Jesus Christ and The Word is synonymous. When the enemy hurls a dart at us we use (the shield of) our faith which is based on the knowledge of the Word and the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. IT IS WRITTEN! The enemy cannot argue with the Word of God when we stand firm and confess it.

Resisting the devil is not good enough. I believe that is what a lot of Christians try to do and it results in turmoil, frustration, anxiety, depression and failure as we call on God to help us, but we are not willing to submit to God and use the weapons He has given us. As a matter of fact we cannot resist the devil, unless we first submit to God and His Word. THEN, through His nature in us, we can resist the devil and he will flee from us, because the only thing he fears is Jesus Christ - The Word of God, the Lamb that shed His blood for our sins.

Jas 4:7  Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.
Jesus used a lot of practical stories to show a spiritual truth. The sower, the pearl of great price, the wheat and the tares etc. etc.....

Here is some illustrations that shows how we can allow things to take root in our lives and how to get rid of it.

One morning as I was setting the sprinkler I took a look at the flowerbed and realized it had been neglected for some time and I started pulling weeds. I realized if I was going to have a great result I would have to get at the roots, but in my hurried state, I just dealt with the surface. At least it would look a lot better - for a while.

As I was weeding God spoke to me about the weeds in our minds. Have I looked after that lately? Have I just treated the surface so that I will appear to have it all together? In the society we live in and unfortunately also in the company of Christians we can easily get our minds overgrown with weeds and it happens so slowly that we are not aware of it until all of a sudden somethings happen and we realize our thinking has been affected by the enemy. Yes, that's right - the enemy. The Bible calls him Satan or the devil and he has only one focus - to steal, to kill, and to destroy (John 10:10). I hear it all the time in business training and conventions and not nearly enough in our churches, but God speaks clearly about the need to renew our minds:

Romans 12:2: And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, in order to prove by you what is that good and pleasing and perfect will of God.

Ephesians 4:23: and be renewed in the spirit of your mind.

And here is the world famous scripture that is quoted everywhere - paraphrased; "
As a man thinks, so is he" (Pr.23:7). In other words, what you allow yourself to think, to dwell on, to take up space in your mind, you will eventually become.

On the north side of our house there is a small yard that is never used. It's away from all the rest and in a corner by itself. We don't walk by it and it cannot really be seen from anywhere. It was never done anything with and so the weeds grew freely. I've cleaned it up several times, but it's been a while and I decided that I would do something with it soon. Well, that day was today. And what a job. There were thorns everywhere and I had to be dressed appropriately with thick leather gloves to be able to handle it. Obviously I had let it go too far, but the right decision and resolve to see it cleaned up prevailed.

It can happen that our lives are sometimes like that. We allow influences and habits to grow in a "corner". We know it's there, but it is too much of a commitment to fix. But, the decisions that we made to make it happen in the first place can be reversed. We are not like the animals, we can change and it's  matter of choice. It's not a demon and you don't have to be "delivered", but you do have to decide to follow the Word of God. I've heard people even mention the "demon of bad house keeping" and other variants. It may sell a lot of books, but it's not the truth.

Having said that, there are times when people are so far down and depressed that they need someone to come alongside and encourage by reading the word and pray with them, even for some time. We are called upon to bear one another's burden. That is what the Body is all about;

Galatians 6:2: Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.

To change any area of ones life there must first be a realization that "I have sinned against God";

Luke 15:21: And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son.

Our minds are continually bombarded by the seeds of weeds from people, news, TV, movies, advertising, what we read and also things we are exposed to that we do not even want to be. We live in a world that feeds on negative news, crime and abuse, disasters and the "soaps" real or imagined. It seem like people love to digest the latest gossip about someone else. The devil is busy dividing - marriages, families, churches, communities and countries at the same time as he is trying to create a false unity. God on the other hand has always been about uniting - from the very beginning; Atoms to molecules, notes unites to become music, letters become words, paragraphs and books, people unite in marriage and become families, families become communities which become cities and countries. The ultimate coming together is the marriage supper of the Lamb in heaven.

Our minds are much like a glass of water and the quality of the water and the usefulness of it depends on what we allow to be put in it. What do we feed our minds with? Imagine a glass of dirty water. How do you get it clean again. God talks about it when he says in Ephesians 5:26: that He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the Word,  and John 15:3: Now you are clean through the Word which I have spoken to you. Our "glass of water" gets drops of dirty water all the time, but you have a hose of clean water being poured into it continually through the Word of God. That is getting at the root and how to stay clean. What's in YOUR "flowerbed"?

After it's been cleaned up - Here is a way of keeping it clean and also without worry or anxiety (see preceding verses also) God says to think on the POSITIVE..... whatever things are true, honest, right, pure, lovely and whatever things are of good report; if there is any virtue and if there is any praise, think on these things. (Philippians 4:8). The result? A peaceful mind.

II. Let us now examine "generational curses";

The following four scripture references are those typically used by the proponents of a "generational curse" in the exercise of a "deliverance ministry". It is crucial that we not blindly receive the spoken word, but examine the scriptures carefully like those who did it in Acts 17:11 and were commended for it.

Instead of the practice of finding scriptures to support our belief, it would be safer and more accurate if we just took the Word and examined it with the help and guidance of the Holy Spirit and thus allow Him to shape our belief. And as we do, the TRUTH will set us free from any misconception, because He (The Holy Spirit) will teach us all things, AND bring to remembrance.....(Joh 14:26).

The context here is that Israel was told not to have any other gods and not to make any graven images and bow down to them:

Exo 20:5  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,...
Exodus 20:6: And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.

Exo 34:6-7  And the LORD passed before him and proclaimed, "The LORD, the LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children and the children's children to the third and the fourth generation."

Num 14:18  'The LORD is longsuffering and abundant in mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression; but He by no means clears the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generation.

Deu 5:9  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,...
Deuteronomy 5:10: And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me and keep my commandments.

Lev 26:39-42  And those of you who are left shall waste away in their iniquity in your enemies' lands; also in their fathers' iniquities, which are with them, they shall waste away. 'But if they confess their iniquity and the iniquity of their fathers, with their unfaithfulness in which they were unfaithful to Me, and that they also have walked contrary to Me, and that I also have walked contrary to them and have brought them into the land of their enemies; if their uncircumcised hearts are humbled, and they accept their guilt—then I will remember My covenant with Jacob, and My covenant with Isaac and My covenant with Abraham I will remember; I will remember the land. 

In Lev 26 - Confessing the iniquity of their fathers is not the same as repenting on behalf of them, which will be touched on later. They were to accept their guilt for God to remember the land. These were people who were living in iniquity and was given a warning and an alternative by God.

What is often left out of the scriptures quoted above is verse 6 in Ex 20 and verse 10 in Deut 5  which says; "...but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments". 

If you have been involved in the "deliverance ministry" either as a recipient or a proponent you would do well to examine God's word more clearly to see what He really says on the subject.

Only the TRUTH will set you free, not someone’s pet belief. So let us examine the Word and what it really says...

Joh 8:32  And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free:
There are three points that are very important here;
1.Who is doing the visiting
2.Who is being visited
3.The nature of the visit

In the above scriptures we First notice that it is God who will visit the iniquity on the third and fourth generation, NOT a demon or a spirit or even Satan himself.

Secondly, we notice that the same scriptures specifically points out WHO qualifies - for the Lord to visit the sins of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generation, commonly and unbiblically called "generational curse" - It's The GUILTY and THOSE THAT HATE GOD! If you hate God, you qualify!

Thirdly, what does actually "visiting" imply? It's root means to visit with friendly or hostile intent. It's the exact same word used when God "visited" Sarah and made her able to bear a son. It's also the same word used when Joseph's master made him an "overseer" in his house. It's also translated "charged", "appoint", punish (....the king of Assyria Isa 10:12, the world for their evil and the wicked...Isa 13:11) etc. (Strongs #6485)

It seems from the following scriptures that God is concerned with the generation of the righteous no matter what the previous generations did or did not do. Other scriptures speak for themselves

Psa 14:5  ........ God is in the generation of the righteous. 
Psa 102:18  This shall be written for the generation to come: and the people which shall be created shall praise the LORD. 

Isa 51:8  For the moth shall eat them up like a garment, and the worm shall eat them like wool: but my righteousness shall be for ever, and my salvation from generation to generation

Gal 3:10  For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse:  "Cursed is everyone who does not continue in all things which are written in the Book of the Law, to do them."

Gal 3:13  Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangs on a tree: 

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

Eph 1:7  In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; 

1Jn 1:7  But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.

Furthermore, God lays it our through Paul very clearly in the fith chapter of the letter to the Romans, that the sin which entered the entire human race through one man's disobedience (hereditary sin), the freedom from it (Righteousness) was granted through one Man's obedience.

Romans 5:12: Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:
Romans 5:13: (For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law.
Romans 5:14: Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come.
Romans 5:15: But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many.
Romans 5:16: And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification.
Romans 5:17: For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.)
Romans 5:18: Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.

Now, let's look at a few other passages that  are very clear and will forever dismiss any notion of a "generational curse" from being applicable to the righteous....

Eze 18:1-4  The word of the LORD came to me again, saying, "What do you mean when you use this proverb concerning the land of Israel, saying: 'The fathers have eaten sour grapes, And the children's teeth are set on edge'? "As I live," says the Lord GOD, "you shall no longer use this proverb in Israel. "Behold, all souls are Mine; The soul of the father As well as the soul of the son is Mine; The soul who sins shall die. 

Eze 18:14-20  "If, however, he begets a son Who sees all the sins which his father has done, And considers but does not do likewise; Who has not eaten on the mountains, Nor lifted his eyes to the idols of the house of Israel, Nor defiled his neighbor's wife; Has not oppressed anyone, Nor withheld a pledge, Nor robbed by violence, But has given his bread to the hungry And covered the naked with clothing;Who has withdrawn his hand from the poor And not received usury or increase, But has executed My judgments And walked in My statutes He shall not die for the iniquity of his father; He shall surely live!  "As for his father, Because he cruelly oppressed, Robbed his brother by violence, And did what is not good among his people, Behold, he shall die for his iniquity.  "Yet you say, 'Why should the son not bear the guilt of the father?' Because the son has done what is lawful and right, and has kept all My statutes and observed them, he shall surely live. The soul who sins shall die. The son shall not bear the guilt of the father, nor the father bear the guilt of the son. The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself. 

Jer 31:29-32  In those days they shall say no more: 'The fathers have eaten sour grapes, And the children's teeth are set on edge.' But every one shall die for his own iniquity; every man who eats the sour grapes, his teeth shall be set on edge. "Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah—not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers....."

Rom 8:1  There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. 

Rev 12:11  And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death. 

Eph 6:12  For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. 

1Co 10:13  There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. 

The born again believer (the Righteous) has been redeemed from the curse of the law (Gal.3:13). 

Because people struggle with issues in their life they confuse a "generational curse" with wrong and/or sinful thinking and learned bad habits which are to be solved by appropriating God's Word for each different situation. (Eph.5:26).

God further tells us in Proverbs (9:12) that we stand and fall on our own, not because of someone else. It's called responsibility.

Now, before we go any further let me point out that unconfessed sin will keep you in defeat until it is dealt with. That means not just confession and repentance toward God, but also whoever you have wronged, whether they know it or not. Living a lie or deception is like scorning God and His Word..

Mat 5:24  leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. 
Nobody is going to Hell because of, nor are you going to Heaven because of, anyone in you heritage being sinner or saint, but only because of the choice you make yourself.
Pro 9:12  If thou be wise, thou shalt be wise for thyself: but if thou scornest, thou alone shalt bear it.
We are ultimately and individually responsible to God for our words and deeds, but He has ordained the Body Of Christ with its many Members to care for one another......

So, let me hasten to add that one will live in bondage to their beliefs and habits as long as they do not appropriate the Truth and change their ways. We sometimes call that  "listening to the lies of the enemy". Many will call them "strongholds" or even saying that one is demonized or indwelled by demons and evil spirits that are controlling them. Yes, there are definitely situations where demons will need to be cast out of an unbeliever both in relation to healing and other problems.

However, there are no references in the Bible that a Christian was ever delivered from a demon or a "generational curse".  But what holds us back, even unknowingly because of ignorance, can be wrong beliefs, habits or concepts learned from our upbringing from our parents and what and who we allowed to influence us. It's all part of what shapes the way we respond to what happens to us. Typically people live beneath their privilege because they do not know and/or do not apply the Word of God and subsequently do not have the nature of Christ manifested in their lives resulting in constant defeat. God says that the TRUTH will make you FREE! (John 8:32)

These people need the Body of Christ (for we are members of one another) to come along side and first of all encourage and minister HOPE. Sometimes people are so depressed and down under their burden that they have a hard time comprehending what is going on. We as Members of the Body must then come to their aid, not showing or allowing self pity, but in loving compassion show them the Truth. Not wavering or allow excuses but speaking the Truth in Love....

Have you ever had someone walking or driving stop and ask you for direction and you have to tell them to turn around and go the other way to reach their destination? That's what we are called to do both to saints and sinners. Christians often have been detoured by wrong choices and need help to find their way back to the main road.

Not making excuses or look for an evil spirit under every "bush", but address personal responsibility and submission to the commandments of Christ. 

Eph 4:15  But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: 

Rom 12:5  So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another. 

1Co 12:26  And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it....."

1Co 12:25  That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another. 

First we have to minister the TRUTH (The Word). Then apply it so that it will renew our mind. 

The truth will set you Free! We must first of all admit that we have a problem, identify the problem and apply God's Word accordingly. This will happen as we walk in the light. If we walk in darkness we cannot have fellowship with God nor man...

1Jn 1:6-7  If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. 
Everything starts in the mind. Everything starts with a thought. Look around you - everything you see, everything you touch - started with a thought and an idea. The way you live is determined by the way you think. As a matter of fact God says that the way you think, that's the way you are - whether you are aware of that or not (Pr.23:7).

Proverbs 23:7: For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he.......

There is a very truthful statement that goes like this: Whether you think you can or you think you can't, you are right!  Because you will act out your thoughts, and what you believe to be true, that's truth to you. That will create habits, good or bad, which will make you automatically respond accordingly to circumstances of life.

It is not WHAT happens to you that matter, but what you DO with what happens to you - according to your own habitual way of thought and action or according to the Word of God - the Truth!

The Word teaches us that God does not personally tempt any man, however he arranges for it as a means of testing....

Jas 1:13-15  Let no one say when he is tempted, "I am tempted by God"; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. 

Mat 4:1  Then Jesus was led up into the wilderness by the Spirit to be tempted by the Devil. 

Here is how the process from temptation to death goes if you give in to the temptation....
Jas 1:14-15  But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death. 
Jesus gave us the example on how to deal with temptation - by quoting God's Word - IT IS WRITTEN!

How do you deal with the temptation of not confessing? 

Jas 5:16  Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed....."
In other words, if you don't, you will live in defeat and not be healed.

How do you deal with the temptation to go to the bottle for comfort instead of being strengthen in the inner man by the Spirit?

Eph 5:18  And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, 
1Co 6:10  nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. 
How do you deal with someone named a brother (or sister) that lives in sin?
1Co 5:11  But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother, who is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner—not even to eat with such a person. 
Here is a “Hot Potato”.......A "Christian" wife leaves her Christian husband and marries another. According to Jesus’ own words that is clearly adultery (unless the husband was unfaithful). 
Mat 19:9  And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced commits adultery." 
The hard but clearly understood question is: “When is adultery not adultery anymore?  The answer is not very popular, easy to say and even harder to obey - or so it seems. That’s another discourse by itself. However, “Don’t take Heaven for granted, you could be in for a Hell of a surprise” - Roy Ingbre.

What do you do when the enemy comes against you with thoughts of anxiety and worry?

Php 4:6  Be careful for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God...
What are you worried about? Spell out your REQUESTS to God in the manner described above.....
Php 4:7  and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. 
Now here is the antidote to being negative, worried or depressed;
Php 4:8  Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. 
Our minds are bombarded with negativity from the environment around us. Be careful what you allow yourself to watch, listen to and read. IT WILL impact your thoughts and attitudes and YOUR LIFE!.

There is typically no quick fix. When it comes to renewing the spirit of our mind (the way we think) which will affect how we respond to circumstances and everything we do, it's a process of Sanctification - The washing of water by the Word. It's a process....

"Success is not a destination, it's a Journey"  You will succeed as you move forward one step at a time - God's way.

Isa 28:10  For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little: 

2Co 3:18  But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.

Of course, when you are aware of something you are doing that is wrong or sinful, you must stop doing it and replace it with something good. For example what Paul told the Ephesians...
Eph 4:28  Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labor, working with his hands. 

Eph 4:25  Therefore, putting away lying, "LET EACH ONE OF YOU SPEAK TRUTH WITH HIS NEIGHBOR," for we are members of one another. 

Are there areas of disobedience or unforgiveness (resentments) that will cause defeat in our lives?
Remember.... Mat 6:12  And forgive us our debts, As we forgive our debtors. 
Are you disobedient to your parents?
Exo 20:12  "Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the LORD your God is giving you.
Which is repeated in the New Testament;
Eph 6:2  "HONOR YOUR FATHER AND MOTHER," which is the first commandment with promise: 
It is also WRITTEN (an area of disobedience that is very seldom ever preached on):
Romans 1:30-32: Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.

You can argue that on all day long, but I did not say that - God did and His word is final. God is not keen on rebellion, because he's had some experience in the heavenlies with that an he calls rebellion as the sin of witchcraft;

I Samuel 15:23: For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king.

Are you baptized?

Mar 16:16  He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. 
Now, this is something that many will argue that, not being baptized will not keep you out of heaven. A valid scripture for that argument will be the thief on the cross, who had no way of fulfilling that commandment, yet Jesus says he would be with him in paradise that very day.

However, this scripture is not about baptism, but about obedience. If you ignore this commandment you are disobedient to God's Word. The Scripture further tells us that baptism is very important...

Rom 6:3-4  Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? 4  Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. 
Here is another scripture that shows  how the Pharisees rejected the will of God;
Luk 7:30  But the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the will of God for themselves, not having been baptized by him. 
This is what God says about obedience to His Commandments...
1Jn 2:3-4  Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. 4  He who says, "I know Him," and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.
Why do we not obey? Simply Because we do not believe it's important. In other words, WE believe our opinion is more important the God's eternal Word. More important than fellowship with Jesus Christ. More important that trusting in God. More important than being obedient to God. Bottom line, we don't really believe or have the fear of God in our lives.

So, unless you're hanging on a cross or on your deathbed, you have no excuse.

And we wonder why we have problems? 

We need a "check up from the neck up!"

Rom 12:2 states that we are to be transformed by the renewing of our mind. How do you renew your mind? By replacing your old wrong and sinful thinking with the powerful truth of God's Word, until the old habit is replaced by the new one according to God's will. See illustration below.

Rom 12:2  And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. 

As the Word is appropriated (believed and acted on) on a daily basis we are sanctified and cleansed. Notice I did not say read, but appropriated. In other words it must be put into ACTION. Reading is not enough. It must be mediated on, decided on and acted on.

[There is this story about great intention...There were three monkeys sitting on a branch. Two decided to jump down. How many were left? The answer is found somewhere below...........]

Eph 5:26  That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 
Eph 5:27  That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. 
The so-called "generational curse" or sin is often mistaken for plain old bad thinking and bad habits that has been developed as we grew up, mostly based on our parents' influence and the friends we associated with, what we watch and what we read. Yes, those habits can have been passed on down for generations, but that is NOT a generational curse. It's just plain bad habits that have been learned, which can also be unlearned. God's Word will show anyone in any situation how to really live. 

Even unsaved people who apply God's principles will reap the benefit - the principle of sowing and reaping is the same for saint and sinner. If someone has not been "sowing" because he never learned or he's the third generation of people who never "sowed" he probably goes around hungry or he steals. Once he's told about the principle and apply it and start "sowing", he'll reap the benefit. 

Les Brown, who is now a world famous speaker, tells his own story that illustrates this very clearly. He grew up in a single parent home with his mother and brother. They were poor and his mother worked hard to make ends meet. At school, Les was deemed educably mentally retarded and all the kids would laugh at him. He succumbed to that image and when asked to do a task at the blackboard by a visiting teacher, he excused himself because he was "educably mentally retarded". The teacher walked slowly down to where Les was sitting pointed his finger in his face and said: "Don't you ever let someone's opinion of you become your reality" That statement completely changed Les Brown's life, which is clearly evident in his life today, being a sought after speaker and author.

There are tons of stories of people that have grown up in miserable circumstances. Some in several generations of welfare recipients and yet some of them have broken away from that because someone brought a ray of HOPE to them and told them things can be different and they CHOSE to change.

We are supposed to watch and pray and have faith and love toward one another and restore those who have fallen....

There are Winners and Losers and those who have not yet learned how to Win. We need to bring Hope to those trough the Word, prayer and our loving support. Sometimes these will need a loving sister or brother telling them "It is possible". You can be a different person. Jesus can and He will help you. God does have a plan for your life. You are special to Him. He loves you so much He gave his life for you that you may have an abundant life. The decision to change however, lies entirely as a responsibility of the individual.

Eph 6:18  Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; 

Phm 1:5  Hearing of thy love and faith, which thou hast toward the Lord Jesus, and toward all saints;

Gal 6:1  Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. 

It's our belief system that must change. Les believed one thing, then after someone helped him change his thinking, he thought different and became a different person. His habit of thinking one way, was changed with the habit of thinking another way. THAT can be done with anything. AND, according to God, we are more than conquerors through him that loved us (Rom.8:37). 

God has given us the weapons.....

2Co 10:4-5  For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, 
We are told in Eph. 6:12 that we wrestle against wickedness in high places and God has given us powerful weapons which will make us able to STAND and OVERCOME the enemy. In verse 16 He says we will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one - ALL of them!
Eph 6:14-18  Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; 15  And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16  Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. 17  And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: 18  Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; 
Because there are so many that struggle with issues that seemingly they have difficulty overcoming, there are those who are looking for other reasons for the problem and hence the "generational curse" comes up, which again must be emphasized, are only applicable to the GUILTY and those who HATE God!  God says Himself clearly, in the scriptures referred to earlier that The son shall not bear the guilt of the father!

Look at the scripture above that says “ALL the fiery darts of the wicked one” and it refers to using the “Shield of Faith”, Not a specialized “deliverance ministry”, but Faith (shield) and the sword of the Spirit which is the WORD of God - Jesus Christ. He is the Word and fellowship with Him is the Faith that will quench all the fiery dart of the wicked one.

We live in an era of incredible biblical illiteracy and if people do not know the Word of God, nor how to appropriate it, how will the TRUTH set them Free? You will not be free by a quick "fix" of renouncing the sins of several generations back.

Todd Bently is one of those who will bring people into further bondage by even going as far as saying you may even need to repent on behalf of a dead person. Says Bently; "You may even have to repent on behalf of someone in your generational line now gone (dead), such as a father, or an aunt, or even someone you've never known". What kind of utter heresy is that. That kind of false teaching will only bring people who do not know the Word of God into further bondage and misery. 

The nature of Christ (which is the Word and the Spirit) need to be part of us for continual victory. How does that happen? There is only one way. David knew how... 

Psa 119:11  Your word I have hidden in my heart, That I might not sin against You. 
God says to study to show yourself approved to be able to RIGHTLY dividing the WORD of TRUTH...
2Ti 2:15  Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 
This scripture is often used for those who labor in the Word, but it applies to every Christian as the commandment in Mark 16 is for everybody, not just for "preachers". There is no substitute for the Word. We are supposed to apply the Word at all times and in every situation....

How did Jesus respond when He was tempted by the Devil? 


Deu 6:7-9  You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. 

Besides, if you want to be blessed, you would want to be in the Word continually.......
Psa 1:1  Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. 
Psa 1:2  But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. 
Here are the results;
Psa 1:3  And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. 
Furthermore, Jesus (The Word, John 1:1) says that we will not bear fruit unless we abide in HIM and He in us. We will never experience true fruitfulness if we just try to imitate Jesus. We must let his Nature be manifested in our lives...
Joh 15:4  Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. 
The first thing you must establish - are you in fact a Christian? Have you been born again by the Spirit of God. I meet a lot of different people in my business and sometimes when I see some Christian items like a Bible or a book or picture, I ask; "Are you a Christian?" The answer is always "Yes". Then my next question is; "So, you are born again then?" Then the answer is most often "No" and my reply is: "Well, then you are not a Christian!" Some of those people have been going to Church for years and they just play "Christian", talk the lingo and blend in with the rest. Jesus laid it out very plainly to Nicodemus...
Joh 3:3  Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. 
So, the first thing we must establish is whether you are truly a Child of God. Counseling someone who is not a Christian is absolutely pointless, because the very foundation of life is based on trust in God and His Word. For the Word to have an effect, there must be established faith and willingness to obey His Commandments. Here's the acid test....
1Jn 2:3-5  Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He who says, "I know Him," and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. 
You'll find that a lot of people that have ongoing issues to deal with are frequent and indiscriminate TV watchers and movie goers, magazine readers and newspaper junkies, listening to the wrong kind of music, enjoying questionable entertainment and associate with the wrong kind of people. Everyone of us has a Philosophical frame of reference that judges everything that happens to us - like a filter.  If our frame is based in the Word and God's principles we will act accordingly. If it is influenced by wrong associations and worldly influences, you'll lead a defeated lifestyle.

The Bible says that as you think in your heart that's the way you are; 

Pro 23:7  For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he...
In other words we need to change our thinking (Renew our Mind). As  born again believer in Jesus Christ having been redeemed by his blood you are now a new creature and you need to let His Spirit change the way you are thinking, by immersing yourself in the Word and replace your old "stinkin' thinkin" with God's principles being transformed by the renewing of our mind....

Anybody want to know the will of God for their life? Practically everybody will say YES! However, few will do what it takes, namely...

Rom 12:2  And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. 

Eph 4:22-24  that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts,  and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness. 

How do we renew the spirit of our mind (change our thinking)? First of all, we know the story about the unclean spirit that had gone out of a man, who returned with seven other spirits and the end was worse that before (Matt 12;43-45, not implying that you had an evil "spirit" in you), which illustrates that you cannot just remove the bad, you have to fill the space with the good.  Let's reiterate this great illustration that will help us understand this process....

Take a drinking glass and fill it with water. Then add some black ink and stir. It looks pretty bad, but I'll bet, in a short while you will drink what is in that glass without emptying out the dirty water first. Here is how it works and it's the same way we go through the process of renewing our minds...

Eph 5:26  That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word.
Take clean water and start pouring it into the drinking glass. You will find that the dirty water is starting to overflow and the more you pour clean water into the glass, the more of the black water it coming out until eventually, there is only clean water in the glass. Go ahead, have a drink - it is perfectly safe.

THAT is how God works in us as we apply His Word to our lives on a constant basis, because He is coming back for a Bride without spot or wrinkle....

Eph 5:27  That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. 
The problem is, that if you allow a small drop of "ink" to fall into your glass at times, you will have a contstans struggle to overcome.

Paul was talking to Christians  in Ephesus and after he had pointed out where they were positioned in Christ, he told them to change their ways, spelling it out in details (read the entire letter), covering personal issues, marriage and relationship between parents and children. He then covers HOW to overcome by putting on the whole armor of God (Ch. 6);

Eph 2:1  And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; Eph 2:4  But God, who is rich in mercy........And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: 

Eph 4:22  That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; 
Eph 4:23  And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; 
Eph 4:24  And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. 
Eph 4:28  Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labor, working with his hands 

Eph 5:3  But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; 
Eph 5:4  Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks. 
Eph 5:5  For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. 
Eph 5:6  Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. 
Eph 5:7  Be not ye therefore partakers with them. 
Eph 5:8  For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: 
Eph 5:9  (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) 
Eph 5:10  Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord. 
Eph 5:11  And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. 
Eph 5:12  For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret. 
Eph 5:18  And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; 

We often tell new converts to start reading the gospel of John. What we really should be telling them is to read John AND Ephesians. That is a great letter to new Christians that really hits home.

Blaming things on "generational curses" is like modern psychology, blaming it on someone else.

The curse was remove by the blood of Jesus Christ and NOTHING can separate us from that...

Rom 8:35  Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 
Rom 8:36  As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. 
Rom 8:37  Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. 
Rom 8:38  For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, 
Rom 8:39  Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. 

Gal 5:16  This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. 

Deu 28:2  And all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God. 

It is clear that God has given it to us to choose. This is what makes the human race unique. We do not, like the animals, act on instinct, but God has given us the ability to choose. God does not want a bunch of robots to serve Him. He want us to serve him out of love and because we want to - because we choose to....
Deu 30:19  I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live: 

Jos 24:15  And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD. 

[Deciding to do something does not mean that it will be done. Like the monkeys on the branch. How many monkeys were left? Three of course, because the two just decided to jump down, they did not follow up by ACTION!]

When we sing: "I have decided to follow Jesus" It will only be evidenced by your fruit as it is acted out in daily living.

Luk 6:44  For every tree is known by his own fruit. For of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush gather they grapes. 

Rom 6:22  But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life. 

Eph 5:9  (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) 

Mat 7:16  Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? 

Gal 5:22-23  But the fruit of the Spirit is 
against such there is no law. 

Gal 5:24  And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.

Mat 7:19  Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. 
Mat 7:20  Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. 
Mat 7:21  Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 
Mat 7:22  Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 
Mat 7:23  And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. 

Fruit = typically what comes out from the tree
Works = typically what happens to people who eat the fruit.

However, this is not a perfect picture as God can use anybody, even Satan to do his bidding. When people respond to the Word of God no matter where it comes from, God will respond to that person.
Php 1:15-18  Some indeed preach Christ even from envy and strife, and some also from goodwill: The former preach Christ from selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my chains; but the latter out of love, knowing that I am appointed for the defense of the gospel. What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is preached; and in this I rejoice, yes, and will rejoice. 

Gal 5:19  Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; 
revellings, and such like: 
of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God

Let us all continually apply the full counsel of the Word of God to our lives and allow the Holy Spirit to lead in His perfect will.

Let me close with this scripture;

Rom 8:37-39  Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. 38  For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, 39  nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. 
Introduction  I  The Library