Three of my four siblings died a premature death. My sister, Evelyn, died of complications related to sugar diabetes at age 48. My brother, John David, died of a heart attack at 44. My brother, Carl, passed away at 58, also from a heart attack.
After the first two went to be with the Lord, I developed health problems similar to those they had experienced—blood sugar imbalances and heart irregularities. I began to wonder what was going on.
Though God healed me of these attacks of the enemy, I couldn’t understand why I had been subject to them. I was reading through the Bible every year, spending a lot of time in prayer, forgiving everyone over and over again. There was no open door for the enemy—or so I thought.
Then I found out that I was under a curse. I was being attacked by a familiar spirit of infirmity because of a generational curse that was operating in my life.
Proverbs 26:2 says, “Like a flitting sparrow, like a flying swallow, so a curse without cause shall not alight” (NKJV). This Scripture tells us that a curse does not just happen; it must have a cause.
What is the cause of a curse? Sin! Whenever a curse is operating in a person’s life, there is a root of sin. “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, that all these curses will come upon you and overtake you” (Deut. 28:15).
But what was the specific cause of the curse in my case? I was personally walking in obedience.
Through study of the Word, I learned that the curses or sins of the fathers are visited upon the children “to the third and fourth generations” (Ex. 20:5). Just as you can have a family history of physical ailments—heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes—you can have a family history of spiritual attacks that are the result of the sins of your ancestors.
Premature death is one outgrowth of a curse. I believe that my two brothers and my sister all succumbed early because of my grandparents’ involvement in Freemasonry, a secret society that encourages practices contrary to the Word of God.
Shortly after my brother, Carl, died, I had an annual physical. To the doctor’s surprise, my EKG was normal. Previous tests had indicated the presence of scar tissue from a heart attack—the result of the generational curse still in operation after John David’s death.
Once I had recognized the cause of the curse, I was able to be set free of its effects. The devil could no longer pass down illness via my bloodline! Now I walk in the blessing of divine health.
What about you? Are you enjoying God’s blessings, or are you enduring the devil’s curses? Here’s how you can tell:
Indications of being under a curse. You struggle with one or more of the following afflictions: poverty or perpetual financial insufficiency; persistent marital problems or divorce; illness, including cancer, diabetes and heart disease; drug addiction or alcoholism; mental illness; child abuse; worry; excessive anger; birth defects; depression; poor self-image; infertility, miscarriages or other female problems. You have difficulty succeeding in life. You experience continual attacks on your health, prosperity, peace of mind or job stability. (See the curses for disobedience outlined in Deut. 28:15-68.)
Experiencing the blessing. You enjoy good health and productivity in every area of your life. Everything you put your hands to prospers. You have favor with God and man. You can feel the hand of God on you, and He is charting the course of your life. (See the blessings for obedience listed in Deut. 28:1-14.) When there is adversity, it is taken care of quickly by prayer or by being more diligent in your Bible reading.
Causes of a Curse
It is important to understand that demons cannot enter at will; they must have a legal right or gateway of opportunity. Therefore, no one can put a curse on you unless there is an opening in your life. When God’s conditions have been met, a demon has no right to stay. But if you or any of your ancestors are guilty of the following sins, you may be subject to a curse.
* Idolatry (worshiping false gods). We are not to keep objects in our homes that are representations of false gods or in any way associated with false religions (see 2 Chron. 15:8). Watch what you buy in foreign countries. One of my friends purchased a beautiful “good luck rock” while on a trip to Greece. It was very pretty and looked nice in her house. The “rock” was supposed to bring wealth.
Instead it brought poverty. The door for Satan to come in and steal, kill and destroy was opened when she brought an occult object into her home that represented a false god.
For six months I had prayed for this friend, an accountant, to get a job in her field. After hearing me teach on blessings and curses she brought me the rock to examine. With my encouragement, she destroyed it, and within two weeks she was employed as an accountant at double her previous salary.
* Dabbling in the occult. Curses are often the result of involvement in occult activities such as engaging in witchcraft, reading your horoscope, using a Ouija board, going to a medium, having your fortune read or following a spirit guide (see Deut. 18:9-12). Remember that the only scriptural source for spiritual information outside the Word of God is the Holy Spirit.
* Dishonoring parents. Ephesians 6:1-3 tells us that if we want to live a long and peaceful life, we are to honor and obey our parents. After teaching a workshop on this subject, I spoke with a young woman who said: “I cannot honor my parents; my mother is a witch. I have been saved about six months, and I don’t want to be around her.”
The woman had numerous physical problems, as well as financial difficulties, and her husband had been diagnosed with cancer. I explained to her that until we forgive those who have hurt us God cannot forgive us (see Matt. 6:14-15; John 20:23). Bitterness and unforgiveness, I said, leave the door open for Satan to march in and out of our lives as he wills.
She followed me in a prayer to forgive her mother, and we agreed for salvation for her and her household according to Acts 16:31. One year later she returned to the Charisma Women’s Conference and attended my workshop again. She had a big smile on her face and a great testimony: Her husband was healed, her mother was saved, and their finances had greatly improved. The curse had been reversed!
* Injustice to the weak and helpless. One form of such injustice is abortion. Women who have had abortions frequently bear the curse of infertility. However, I have known many who conceived after they repented, renounced the sin as murder and went through a prayer of forgiveness. (See Deut. 5:17; 27:19; 32:4.)
* Engaging in illicit or unnatural sex. This includes adultery, fornication, incest, homosexuality and bestiality. Sex between two creatures other than a man and a woman who are married to each other is a defilement. (See Deut. 27:20-23; Heb. 13:4.)
* Withholding tithes and offerings. See Malachi 3:8-10.
* Trusting in man rather than God. See Jeremiah 17:5-6.
* Joining ungodly associations. Curses can come from making unscriptural covenants such as those encouraged in Freemasonry, Eastern Star and false religions (see Deut. 5:7). Freemasonry is a secret society that can bring terrible curses on the people who are involved in it. I have seen such curses manifested in the lives of family members as mental breakdown, retarded children, paralyzed children, bickering in families, broken homes, family pride and premature deaths.
My own family was affected by the curse even though neither my mother or father ever participated—because both my grandparents were members of the lodge. This is an example of how the sin of an ancestor can bring curses on subsequent generations.
How can we pass from curses to blessings? Through the sacrificial atonement of Jesus Christ. The Scriptures tell us that everyone is cursed “‘who does not continue in all things which are written in the book of the law, to do them'” (Gal. 3:10). But when Jesus died on the cross, He “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’), that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus” (Gal. 3:13-14).
If you suspect that you are the victim of a curse and want to be set free to receive “the blessing of Abraham,” take the following steps:
1. Recognize the problem and determine, if possible, the cause of the curse. Try to identify the sin that originally gave the curse a reason to “alight.” If you are not guilty of idolatry, sexual sin, withholding your tithe or any of the other offenses mentioned here, ask yourself if a family member has erred in these areas. Was your grandfather a Freemason, an adulterer or a miser? Did your mother have an abortion?
2. Repent of the sin that exposed you to the problem. Whether it is your sin or the sin of your forefathers, there is a need to repent. You do not bear the guilt of your ancestors’ sins, but you do suffer the consequences of their iniquities (bends in nature). The Scriptures give us many examples of godly men repenting for the sins of someone else (see Num. 14:17-19; Neh. 1:5-11; Dan. 9:4-19, for example).
3. Renounce any involvement with the occult. If you have engaged in any occult activities—either before or since you were saved—renounce them, and cleanse your house by removing all occult objects.
4. Pray a prayer of release. Say “Father, I believe that Jesus is the Son of God, that He died on the cross and rose again from the dead, and that on the cross He was made a curse so that I might be set free from the curse of the law and receive Your blessings. I ask for Your mercy and forgiveness. I ask You to blot out and forgive any sins committed by me or my ancestors that exposed me to a curse. (At this point renounce the sins by naming them aloud or recounting any curses that come to your mind).
“I forgive everyone who has ever hurt me as I would have God forgive me. (Name anyone who comes to your mind—a school teacher, your parents, a spouse, a friend). I renounce all contact with Satan, unscriptural secret societies and occult practices. Through the name of Jesus, by His blood and with the authority You have given me as Your child, I now release myself from every curse that has ever come upon me or affected me in any way. Amen.”
Now get ready to enjoy the blessing!
Mary Jo Clouse has been teaching the Word of God in churches and at conferences for 27 years. She ministers regularly on the topics of generational curses and physical and emotional bondage, helping fellow believers to find freedom and wholeness in Christ.