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Breaking Generational Curses Off Your Mind

Prayer & Spiritual Warfare

Breaking Generational Curses Off Your Mind

According to Romans 5:12, Adam threw the entire human race into the prison-house of spiritual death by committing iniquity in the Garden of Eden.

The infection of sin began to be passed from one generation to another, and at the same time, began to develop an ever-increasing manifestation of incipient death in men’s lives.

Bloodline iniquity began to show up in the form of generational behavior and generational mindsets that were developing under the relentless pressure of satanic influence and temptation. With very little to restrain the influences from the inside out, mankind gradually began to yield in greater measures to the demonic forces that had been unleashed as a result of Adam’s failure to take dominion.

As we go to Romans 5, let’s look at the Passion Translation of verses 12–14.

When Adam sinned, the entire world was affected. Sin entered human experience, and death was the result. And so death followed this sin, casting its shadow over all humanity, because all have sinned. Sin was in the world before Moses gave the written law, but it was not charged against them where no law existed. Yet death reigned as king from Adam to Moses even though they hadn’t broken a command the way Adam had. The first man, Adam, was a picture of the Messiah, who was to come.

It is important to understand that God could not hold men accountable for their sin between Adam and Moses because there was no law given to define sin and by which men could be judged. Even though men were not having their sin imputed against them by God, the spiritual law of sin and death was still doing its deadly work. Once God introduced the Law through Moses, men could be justly judged because they now had knowledge of sin.

Iniquity in the bloodline was a judgment that could extend to the third and fourth generations of a family. Pay particular attention to the way God describes Himself to Moses in Exodus 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.”

Notice God said that He forgives iniquity, transgression, and sin. So, we need to understand that these are three separate things. They are not the same in the way that God looks at them or deals with them. The best way to break this down is to look at the way Jesus showed the differences.

Jesus taught the principles that would govern the new covenant of grace; He did not teach the Law. He came to fulfill the Law of Moses, and by so doing, with His shed blood, instituted a new covenant where the only way to get into that covenant is to be re-fathered from above. The new birth is the only way to enter into covenant with God in this age of grace.

He was constantly contrasting the principles of the Law of Moses with the principles of grace. The reason for this was to lay the groundwork of the way a truly born-again believer would live, which was a lifestyle of being led from the inside by the Holy Spirit as opposed to being led from the outside by a written code. The author of the Law of Moses was going to take up residence in the heart of men as a result of receiving the grace gift of righteousness through the new birth. Therefore, the means to deal with disobedience when it begins as a thought would replace the outside-in lifestyle under the Law of Moses, which only dealt with sin and transgression after the act was performed.

Notice this contrast in the following passage from the Book of Matthew.

You have heard that it was said to those of old, “You shall not murder, and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment.” But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment. And whoever says to his brother, “Raca!” shall be in danger of the council. But whoever says, “You fool!” shall be in danger of hell fire. Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. Agree with your adversary quickly, while you are on the way with him, lest your adversary deliver you to the judge, the judge hand you over to the officer, and you be thrown into prison. Assuredly, I say to you, you will by no means get out of there till you have paid the last penny. You have heard that it was said to those of old, “You shall not commit adultery.” But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell (Matt. 5:21–30).

This passage is loaded with revelation that opens our eyes to the importance of understanding the legal dimension of the realm of the spirit. The shift from the Law of Moses to the gift of grace did not change the legal dimension of the spirit realm; nor did it change the way the adversary seeks to use legal things against God’s people. It did open the door for the believer to be able to answer those legal challenges on the basis of what Jesus accomplished in His death, burial, resurrection, and ascension. Because of the new birth, the believer has the ability to stop sin when it is still in the form of a seed, as a thought. Grace empowers us to be able to stop things before they manifest in the open.

Let’s consider this part of what Jesus said:

Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. Agree with your adversary quickly, while you are on the way with him, lest your adversary deliver you to the judge, the judge hand you over to the officer, and you be thrown into prison. Assuredly, I say to you, you will by no means get out of there till you have paid the last penny (vv. 23–26).

This is dealing with personal relationships. Disagreements, strife, anger, and other emotional relational matters are the seedbed of a massive amount of thoughts and behaviors that can escalate to the point that destinies can be severely altered and even destroyed. These instructions have to do with relationships within the Body of Christ, between believers.

There are many things that can cause your giving to produce the wrong testimony in the realm of the spirit. Strife is a major issue that can cause your giving to not produce the desired harvest. Jesus is teaching that when there is strife between you and another believer, it is important to get things reconciled before you offer your gift. The reason is not because God is upset with you; it’s because your adversary (same Greek word, antidikos) can use the situation to initiate a legal case against you.

Remember, you cannot fake the realm of the spirit out. It is better to acknowledge that things aren’t right between you and another believer and get it straightened out, than to try and act like everything is alright when it is not. The longer you let things drift without dealing with them, the longer the adversary has to pursue a case against you and legally deny you your harvest, delay promotions, or frustrate the purposes and destiny that God has planned for you. You will not stop the damage until you repent and make things right. It can boil down to the question of how much pain can you endure before you do the right thing and get things reconciled.

The problem that God has in these situations is that He cannot pervert justice, even when the devil has brought the case against you. If it is true that there is strife there, God cannot move on your behalf when the adversary brings it up as a legal case. I am always reminded when talking about the dangers of strife what the apostle Paul wrote to Timothy on this subject. The King James Version still carries so much weight in this passage.

But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes. And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, in meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; and that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will (2 Tim. 2:23–26).

Strife is deadly! When you are in strife, you can be taken captive at satan’s will! He will move in on that situation and bring a lawsuit before the Court of Heaven against all the believers who are in that fuss and use that legal case as a way to delay, deny, or destroy the destinies of everyone involved. Even after the fuss is over, if the case is not dealt with and the accusations silenced by repentance and forgiveness, the adversary will keep that case in place to frustrate the will of God in the lives of those who were involved.

Then Jesus describes the level at which sin takes place under grace in this next section.

You have heard that it was said to those of old, “You shall not commit adultery.” But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart (Matt 5:27).

Under the Law of Moses, you were not guilty of adultery until you actually committed the act. Jesus is introducing a much tougher standard, the standard that applies under grace. Under grace you become guilty when you lust in your heart and have the desire to have sexual relations with someone, even if you never act it out. Why? Because under grace you can stop things when they are still in seed form, in the heart and mind and thoughts. This was not possible under the Law of Moses.

If you meditate and see yourself doing it as a born-again believer, you are guilty of it. This is the time to judge it and stop it, so that it goes no further. You are to judge yourself of the intention before it becomes a transgression. Grace teaches you to deal with it before it happens. It also enables you to have the Holy Spirit deal with you in your heart, and this keeps things from getting complicated and messy as well.

The next part of Jesus’s teaching is critical to understand as well. It gives us a glimpse into the nature of bloodline iniquity.

If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell (vv. 29–30).

Jesus is not saying you should actually cut off offending members of your physical body. He is instructing us to deal with those things that cause us to sin. We can be dealing with bloodline patterns of behavior that we can see the pattern in our family’s history. The right eye and right hand are indicating things that have a certain amount of authority in our lives and affects our physical passions. This is bloodline iniquity and needs to be explained so that we can understand how it influences our lives.

Remember this phrase I highlighted from Exodus 34:7: “visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children and the children’s children to the third and the fourth generation.” Here is what God is communicating here. When sin becomes a generational pattern, it is an indication that what may have started out as just a one-time sin or transgression has now become iniquitous in nature. It now is being passed down through the bloodline and has become a legal issue of serious consequences. We are not responsible for the sins of our fathers. However, generational behavior is an indication that behavioral patterns and mindsets have taken hold at the level of our DNA and genes so that a propensity for certain behaviors is being passed down in our bloodlines. This iniquitous inheritance is directly connected to the infection introduced by Adam as head of the human race and, quite frankly, has been developing since he sinned in the Garden of Eden.

Just take a moment and consider the behavioral patterns you see in your own family. What are the common behavioral characteristics you see in your grandparents (even great-grandparents), parents, siblings, and even in your own children? You can even see it in your grandchildren many times. Mindsets and behaviors that are common and passed from one generation to another are indications of bloodline inheritance.

There is a wealth of material even from the realm of science that indicates that our genetic codes can carry predisposed markers that given the right signals will energize certain genes that produce certain generational patterns. The keys to what will energize the genetic codes are based upon many factors, far beyond the scope or focus of this book. But having a predisposition for something does not necessarily lock you into manifesting a behavior that is the result of inherited iniquity.

Two verses of Scripture are key to understanding a basic biblical explanation for what triggers many behaviors that are inherited. Proverbs 18:21 and Proverbs 23:7 deal with the two main triggers: thoughts and words. Take these two elements and understand that these can be inherited from our bloodline culture. First Peter 1:18–19 speaks to this clearly:

Knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.

Dr. William Barclay, who was an internationally recognized Greek scholar, renders these verses in a clear and concise manner in his excellent translation of the New Testament.

For you know well what it cost to liberate you from the slavery of that life of futility which you inherited from your fathers. The price did not consist of things which are doomed to decay, of silver and gold. The price was the precious life-blood of Christ, who was, as it were, the sacrificial lamb with no flaw or blemish.

We are responsible for our own thinking and behavior, even when that thinking and behavior are a result of a mind-set or behavior we inherited generationally. It may not be your fault that you are yielding to things even on an unconscious level, but you are responsible to do something to change it and stop it.

In her excellent book Switch on Your Brain, Dr. Caroline Leaf shares this important insight. “The sins of parents create a predisposition, not a destiny. You are not responsible for something you are predisposed to because of ancestral decisions. You are responsible, however, to be aware of the predispositions, evaluate them, and choose to eliminate them.”You might be thinking at this point, why didn’t my salvation free me from all of this? My answer would be you were, but it is not automatic. An important key to learning about how to walk in the full benefits of the finished work of redemption is to understand what was automatic and what wasn’t when you got born again. Not understanding this has been the cause of much frustration, misunderstanding, and false judgment by people judging behavior unjustly by not knowing what was going on in the heart of the person they were judging.

Let’s work from the inside out as we explain what happens the day you gave your life to Jesus. I will use my own testimony as an example.

I was born again on February 13, 1977, at 3:00 p.m. in the back bedroom of my parent’s house where I lived at the time. I was twenty-two years old and had recently returned home after living a life of hard sin and rebellion to both God and my parents. I was unemployed, tired, worn out, and desperate for change in my life. I was a borderline alcoholic, smoked up to three packs of cigarettes a day, and cussed at a high level of expertise. I had become good at yielding to the passions of the flesh and demonic impulses.

When I prayed and asked Jesus into my life, immediately my spirit was born again. According to 2 Corinthians 5:17 I became a new creation in Christ. The man that was, at his very core, a hard-core sinner, moved out of spiritual death and was joined by the Holy Spirit in a miraculous work of God’s power to become one spirit with the Lord (see 1 Cor. 6:17). My spirit had been recreated, and re-fathered from above (see John 3:3). I was translated out of the authority of darkness and into the Kingdom of God (see Col. 1:13). I was made to sit with Christ at the right hand of the Father in heavenly places and became a citizen of Heaven (see Eph. 2:6; Phil. 3:20). All of this happened in the twinkling of an eye, and my spirit changed from darkness to light, from death to life, and from hate to love. (See the entire book of 1 John!)All that was necessary for that to happen was acting on Romans 10:9: “If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” I did, and I was. To be saved means to be born again.

Now I had a job to do. I had to renew my mind. Romans 12:1–2 speaks of the two most important things you must do after you get saved.

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

God accepts your body as a holy and acceptable act of worship before Him when you offer it. This has legal implications because when you do that, He is now responsible to help you cleanse and purge it so that it will not be a constant source of trouble to your walk of faith.

The second thing that we need to do is to renew our minds. We come into the Kingdom of God with mind-sets that have been shaped and programmed by the culture of our family; by the culture of the city, state, region, and nation where we were born and grew up; by the religious orientation we were raised within; and many other influences that we did not have much control over and sometimes were forced upon us. Very little of this programming prepares us to walk in agreement with the culture of the Kingdom of God or to be able to cooperate with the Spirit of God to any great degree.

Add to this the generational mindsets that we inherited and influence our thinking on such a deep level that it literally is an unconscious influence that shapes the way we respond and react to the kaleidoscope situations and circumstances we deal with on a day-to-day basis. Very little of this preprogramming we actually chose for ourselves. So, we must begin to, on purpose, work to change the entire body of thinking that we already have to come in ever-increasing alignment with the mind of Christ and with Heaven’s culture.

Mind renewal is not scripture memorization. It is changing the way you think at a core level. It is an ongoing discipline of replacing mind-sets, beliefs, rules, values, and references to bring your thinking and the thinking processes that govern you at the unconscious level to agree with what will allow you to be more accurately led by the Holy Spirit and think and respond like Jesus thinks and responds. It is, without a doubt, hard work.

Mind renewal is not automatic, and it is your responsibility. God will not renew your mind, and your mind did not get renewed when you got born again. Much more could be said about this, but it’s enough to say that this is not an automatic result of salvation.

This leads me to say that on February 13, 1977, when I got born again, I sensed that things were different, and that awareness energized me with a great amount of excitement. I was alive spiritually, and it had a positive effect on my outlook on life and my attitude. But as I was to discover in the days and weeks ahead, old thinking and behavioral patterns were still there, and as a result, a lot of my behavior did not reflect the change in my spirit.

My spirit didn’t have a whole lot to work within my soul, which is made up of my mind, my emotions, and my will. My mind, made up of the subconscious mind where all the renewing needed to take place, was still programmed according to thinking, speaking, and behaving that developed under satanic influences for the most part, especially over the previous seven to eight years. Now I had to get to work and put into my mind things that agreed with the new creation I had become. After over forty years of mind renewal, I am a whole lot further down the road now, but I still have so much work to do!

What about my physical body? Well, according to Romans 8:23, my body didn’t get born again either! “Not only that, but we also who have the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body.”

My body is not redeemed yet! My spirit is redeemed; my mind is having to have redemption programmed into it on an ever-increasing basis; and I have to enforce redemption upon this physical body. Healing from sickness and disease is not automatic! I have to learn how to take authority over my body and exercise dominion over it.On the day I got born again, the physical passions, desires, and appetites of my physical body were all aligned with everything that was, if not illegal, certainly immoral, not conducive to living to the highest degree of health.

I would soon discover that the desires that fueled my fleshly appetites had an iniquitous root that had been developed over many generations in my family bloodlines and made certain desires and behaviors have an addictive nature about them. The harder I tried to change, the more challenging it became to subdue those behaviors and the thinking and emotions connected to them. Some of these things I was unable to conquer until I discovered the power of the Courts of Heaven and found out how to cleanse the iniquities that gave the adversary a legal right to keep the pressure on my flesh and my mind. After a forty-year battle with those things, I am completely free, and the temptations are totally gone!The subduing of my physical body and enforcing redemption upon it was not automatic. I found out that due to Adam’s inheritance in the flesh and the development of generational iniquity as inherited from my family bloodlines, I had to learn how to free my physical body from the grip of things that were afflicting me even as a result of my DNA and genetic predispositions. Tough discipline had only gone so far in bringing results, and even after years of riding herd on my flesh, I would find that the pressure of temptation would get so strong that I would yield just to get the pressure off. This was unacceptable, but until I found out what I could do to get rid of the source of the temptation in the Courts of Heaven, it was the way things were.

In my book, Breaking the Strongholds of Iniquity, I show you the revelation from the New Testament that describes what I learned and has enabled me to conquer things in my life that plagued me all my born-again experience going back to that wonderful day in February 1977. There truly is victory in Jesus!

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