This teaching includes a free sermon outline to download for personal use, message preparation or Bible study discussion.
In the first session I tried to give a picture of some of the commonest ways that curses operate in people’s lives, and I also gave you some of the basic causes of curses. The primary cause of every curse is not hearing God’s voice and not doing what He says. Then there are many specific ways in which we can be guilty of not hearing God’s voice and not doing what He says. We looked at a number of different curses that are pronounced by God Himself on various forms of disobedience and conduct that is displeasing to Him. We saw that the greatest single cause of all curses is false gods, idolatry and the occult. Then we looked at a number of other specific things on which God pronounced His curse.
Now I’m going to deal with a number of other sources of curses, maybe about half a dozen, which I’ll try to move through without undue delay so that we can come to the real climax which is how to be free from the curse. My experience is in many cases people don’t see their need to be free until they’ve understood the way that the curse first came.
Another specific source of curses is men who speak on behalf of God as God’s mouthpiece. There are many examples of this in the Bible. We’ll only look at just a few. The first is found in Joshua 6:26 after Israel had captured and destroyed Jericho. Joshua, the leader of God’s people, and God’s mouthpiece, pronounced a curse on anybody who would subsequently rebuild a city on that site. In Joshua 6:26:
“Then Joshua charged them at that time, saying, Cursed be the man before the Lord who rises up and builds this city Jericho. He shall lay its foundation with his firstborn, and with his youngest he shall set up its gates.”
That’s a very specific curse, not a general curse. But the form that the curse would take would be that the person who rebuilt Jericho, it would cost him the lives of two of his sons. I’m sure most of the Israelites forgot that curse, it just receded into history. But about five hundred years later in the reign of Ahab, king of Israel, a man did just that thing on which Joshua had pronounced a curse. And this is recorded in 1 Kings 16 in the reign of Ahab. 1 Kings 16, the last verse of the chapter, verse 34:
“In his days [that’s the days of Ahab] Hiel of Bethel built Jericho: he laid its foundation with Abiram his firstborn, and with his youngest son Segub he set up its gates, according to the word of the Lord which He had spoken through Joshua the son of Nun.”
The marginal translation says “at the cost of the life of his son.” Most modern translations follow that. So, the man who went against the curse pronounced by Joshua five hundred years earlier, it cost him the lives of two of his sons.
I often think to myself what did the doctors of that day say when they were asked to give the cause of death of these two young men? Would they have understood that it was caused by words pronounced by a servant of God five hundred years earlier? One of the things this brings out is that curses basically continue until something is done to cut them off. They’re self-perpetuating.
And then another remarkable example is found in 2 Samuel 1, a lament that David pronounced after King Saul and his son Jonathan had been killed by the Philistines on Mount Gilboa. In 2 Samuel 1:21—now you need to understand the cause of David’s intense grief. It was not merely that Jonathan was his dear friend or even that Saul had been killed. But it was the triumph of idol worshippers over the people of the true God. Because the Philistines were idol worshippers and when they found the bodies of Saul and Jonathan they mutilated them, cut off their heads, placed them on the wall of the city called Bethshan and proclaimed it in all their idol temples. You have to understand in those days when two nations fought, generally speaking, it wasn’t merely the nations that were fighting but their gods were fighting one another. And when one nation was victorious, it was a victory for the gods of that nation. And so what grieved David so much as the servant of the Lord was that, in a sense, the idol gods had triumphed over the true God. And so he pronounced this lament. And I’m sure he didn’t stop to think what he was going to say but it’s a remarkable lament about the mountains of Gilboa, because it was on Mount Gilboa that Saul and Jonathan were killed.
“Oh mountains of Gilboa, let there be no dew, nor let there be rain upon you, nor fields of offerings: for the shield of the mighty is cast away there, the shield of Saul, not anointed with oil.”
So David said let there be no dew, no rain, no fields of offerings. Those words were pronounced about three thousand years ago. And in this century, after the Jews returned to their land, they began to plant trees and recultivate every area. And they’ve been amazingly successful in growing trees on their mountains. But when they came to Mount Gilboa they had totally unexpected problems in making trees grow there. So the words of David pronounced three thousand years earlier still affected the situation on Mount Gilboa at that time.
And then there’s another example in 2 Kings 5, we don’t need to turn there. But the prophet Elisha had been used of God to bring healing to Naaman the Assyrian. He refused to accept any gift from Naaman because he didn’t want Naaman to think he could pay for his healing. But Naaman’s servant Gehazi thought that was a shame to turn down this offer, so he ran after Naaman without Elisha knowing it and asked for money and clothing. Came back and hid it away, came and stood in the presence of Elisha thinking that Elisha didn’t know, and Elisha said, “Did not my spirit go with you when you ran after that man?” And then he pronounced this curse upon him. He said, “The leprosy of Naaman [who had been healed] cleave to you and your descendants forever.” And it says Gehazi went out from his presence a leper as white as snow, an advanced stage of leprosy. And notice the curse was on his descendants forever.
See, what comes out of all these examples is the perpetuation of a curse until somebody knows what to do to revoke it. You say can God’s servants curse in that way today? Well, Jesus cursed a fig tree, you remember, in the New Testament. And the next day it had withered from the roots, just one period of twenty-four hours. And when the disciples were astonished he said to them, “You will be able to do what I did to this fig tree, and more.” He said, “You will remove mountains.” Let’s leave out removing mountains for the moment. He said, “You can do what I did to the fig tree.”
Now I relate this with some trepidation, but this is a personal experience. In about l965 I was part of a ministry team in a church in the inner city in Chicago. Right flush with the church, wall to wall on the corner was what the Americans call a saloon. I think the English call it a pub. But it was a very wicked place. It not merely sold alcohol, it peddled drugs and it was a center for prostitution. It was a very wicked place and it was right wall to wall with the church. Well, sometime about October we had a prayer meeting in the church and I was on the platform as one of the leadership team. And at a certain point without any premeditation I thought about this pub and I thought it really is an affront to God that it should be right there just where the people come into the church. So I stood up and I said, “I pronounce the curse of God upon that pub.” I didn’t think anymore about. About two months later about 4:00 o’clock in the morning there was a phone call, “Brother Prince, the church is on fire, do you want to come and see?” Well, it was the middle of winter in Chicago, I mean it was about 20 degrees below. I didn’t want to go and see but I thought, you know, if I hang around and just let the church burn without showing any interest it will look bad! My first wife and I, we got in the car and we went there. Sure enough, not two blocks away you could see the flames and smoke. When we got there, however, we discovered it wasn’t the church that was on fire, it was the pub. But, you know, Chicago is situated on Lake Michigan. The wind was blowing off the lake and blowing the flames right onto the church. And as we stood there and watched helplessly, the wind changed 180 degrees and blew the flames away from the church. The next morning the pub was destroyed and the church had suffered nothing but smoke damage which was covered by the insurance. And as I stood there and watched that I thought, “God, am I responsible?” I mean, I wasn’t jesting. And I thought that is the outcome of the words that I pronounced in that church about two months previous. You know my reaction was I realized I had tremendous power committed to me. Not because I’m different, because every Christian has that power. And my prayer was and is, “God, help me never to misuse that power.” But I give that as an illustration just to prove that the things we’re talking about are not out of date, they’re all relevant, they apply today.
Now I want to go on to other sources of curses. The next one is very important and very little understood by contemporary Christians. I call it persons with relational authority. That is, persons who have authority because of a relationship. Now, authority is a very unpopular concept in many places and parts of the word today but the fact remains it’s still real. Authority is not created by man, it precedes from God. And there are many different relationships in which a person has authority. You may or may not like it but a husband has authority over his wife in certain contexts. Parents have authority over their children. Teachers have authority over their pupils. Pastors have authority over their congregations, just to take a few examples.
Now, because of the authority relationship, words spoken by those persons to those under their authority have special supernatural power. Whether they’re blessings or whether they’re curses. And if you look at the Bible you’ll find that second to the blessing of God, the most important blessing that any person could ever have in his life is the blessing of his or her father. That’s still true today. I say to any of you whose fathers are alive, do everything in your power, everything you can to obtain the blessing of your father. And your mother, but primarily your father. It makes a lot of difference.
When I was saved I’m afraid I had a bad attitude towards my parents. I thought, “They’re not saved, I’m saved; they don’t understand, I do understand.” I praise God He rebuked me for it and He showed me that I could not expect His blessing if I didn’t honor my parents. And before they died I had shown them the honor that was appropriate. I don’t believe otherwise I could have ever enjoyed the blessing of God in my life.
I want to take an example of a husband who cursed his wife without knowing it and the results. The story is found in Genesis 31. You’ll remember, some of you, that Jacob had been with his Uncle Laban serving him. He’d married two of Laban’s daughters, he had become father to a pretty substantial family and then the Lord directed him to leave Laban in Mesopotamia and go back to the land of Canaan. And he was afraid that if he told Laban he was going Laban would take his daughters back. So he stole away secretly while Laban was busy somewhere else. But Laban and his relative pursued after Jacob and caught up with him on Mount Gilead. And then there was a confrontation. Laban said, “Why did you steal away and not let me say good-bye to my daughters?” Jacob said, “I was afraid you’d take them from me.” “All right,” Laban said, “I can accept that. But why did you steal my household gods?” The Hebrew word is terraphim, they were little idol images that people kept in their homes to protect them against evil—which is a very common practice to this day.
Now, Jacob didn’t know anything about the terraphim but his favorite wife, Rachel, had stolen her father’s images. Now, that was a very bad thing to do because she shouldn’t have stolen from her father. Second, she involved herself in the occult and that is always dangerous. This is what happened. Verse 30 of Genesis 31:
“Laban says to Jacob, Now you have surely gone because you greatly long for your father’s house. But why did you steal my gods? [terraphim] Then Jacob answered and said to Laban, Because I was afraid [that’s why I went]. For I said perhaps you would take your daughters from me by force. [And then he says] With whomever you find your gods, do not let him live.”
The King James says “let him not live.” What’s that? It’s a curse. Let him not live. Now, Jacob didn’t know that he was talking about Rachel who was his favorite wife. Rachel succeeded in keeping the gods concealed, Laban never discovered them. That ended that situation. But, within a few years the next time Rachel gave birth she died in childbirth. Why? Because of the curse pronounced by her husband. See? This is very real. You may not like it, I may not like it but that’s the way it is. God has built certain principles into human life and relationships.
Now let’s consider a few other possible examples. And most of these are constructed out of situations that I have actually dealt with but I kind of changed a little so I don’t expose the identity of people. Let’s consider another possible example of a husband. This man is a business executive, he’s busy, he’s financially successful, he’s a man with drive, he’s pretty ruthless. He marries a woman who doesn’t know how to cook. Like so many young ladies today, she’s never learned from her mother. And for a long while he endures his wife’s cooking but then he just can’t take any more. And he says, “I’m sick of your cooking. You’ll never learn to cook.” And he probably says it many times. What is that? It’s a curse. All right. What he doesn’t realize is he’s pronounced a curse on himself, too. “I’m sick of your cooking.” So what happens? He gets indigestion. Doctors cannot find any cure for that indigestion, he suffers from it till he dies. The marriage breaks up, they’re divorced. The wife is a talented woman, she can succeed in every area except one—the kitchen, that’s right. When she goes into the kitchen her body starts to shake, she gets all nervous and she never can get it together. Why? The husband’s curse. Both of them endure their curse until they die. See?
All right. Let’s take a father. This is perhaps the commonest of all. A father has three sons. The first is the firstborn. Of course, he’s always welcome. The third, the youngest, is brilliant. But the middle one is neither firstborn nor brilliant. He has a lot of the same characteristics that his father has. Have you ever noticed when people are bad and they’re bad in the way that we’re bad, we like to take it out on them rather than ourselves. Have you ever noticed that? Parents, if you pick on one of your children it’s probably the one that’s most like you if you knew it. What’s you’re objecting to is what’s in you that you don’t like.
Anyhow, so the father says to the second son, “You’ll never succeed. You’ll always be a failure. You’ll never make it.” What’s that? It’s a curse. And I’ve dealt with many men in their 40s and 50s who were still struggling against words spoken by a father before they were teenagers.
Or, let’s say the father has a daughter, 15. Like some young ladies of fifteen she has acne. And the father has to drive her to school every day and every day she’s up there in the bedroom putting things on her pimples. And so she’s late. And so the father gets exasperated and one day he says, “You’ll never get rid of those pimples, you’ll have pimples for the rest of your life.” Fifteen years later she’s a married woman with children of her own and she is still struggling with her acne. Why? Because of a curse.
Or let’s take a mother. And this is actually a real case that I’ve been dealing with that I will not give the identity. Her daughter always pleased her, she always did what she wanted. She was one of those manipulative, controlling mothers. But then the daughter fell in love and married a man that the mother didn’t approve of. And the mother said, “You’ll never make good. You’ll always be struggling. You’ll never have enough.” I know the man. He’s a gifted man and a capable man. But for at least a dozen years that was true. It’s only changed when I confronted them with the reality of the source of their problems: the mother’s curse. Now there’s a new life opening up before them.
Let’s talk about teachers. The teacher has a pupil who can’t spell. Maybe he’s got what they call dyslexia. You know, you put the letters the wrong way around. “You’re silly, you’re stupid. You just don’t try hard. You’ll never succeed.” I know teachers shouldn’t talk like that but sometimes they do. What’s the result? A child, a boy or a girl that never can make it in life.
Ruth and I have a friend, a teacher said to her when she was a teenager, “You’re shallow.” She’s now I think in her 60s or at least in her late 50s. We discovered that all her life she’s been struggling against that statement “You’re shallow.” And the strange thing about it is if anybody doesn’t deserve that statement, it’s that lady. She is far from shallow. But you see, there’s authority behind those statements and that makes them powerful.
Usually speaking, there’s a demonic element. I’ll just show you one thing in James 3 which is very important. James 3:14–15:
“But if you have bitter envying and self seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth. This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, soulish, demonic.”
In other words, if your attitudes are wrong and your reactions are wrong and you speak, what’s going to come out will have a demonic element in it. I’ve used this little picture. How many of you know what a whistling kettle is? I’m sure most of you do. All right. So you have this kettle on the stove and the water is getting hotter and hotter. And the moment the steam comes out, what else comes out? The whistle, that’s right. The whistle is like the curse, you see? When the steam comes the whistle comes. There’s only one way to prevent the whistle, what’s that? Take the kettle off before it boils. So when, let’s say, a parent or a teacher or a husband is getting more and more angry and frustrated and impatient, if you don’t take that kettle off the steam is going to come out and the whistle will come out with it. You’ll say something cruel, hard, unkind, unjustified and a curse will be released with it. Does that happen in our contemporary culture?
Then we come to another tremendously important area. Perhaps the most common of all, what I call self imposed curses. People pronounce curses on themselves. In Genesis 27 we have the story of how Isaac was going to bless Esau and the mother Rebekah who is the first Yiddish yamama, if you know what Yiddish yamama is, switched them and she got Jacob acting like Esau and claiming the blessing. Jacob wasn’t reluctant but he was afraid and he said this in verse 11:
“Jacob said to Rebekah his mother, Look, Esau my brother is a hairy man and I am a smooth skinned man. Perhaps my father will feel me and I shall seem to be a deceiver to him and I shall bring a curse on myself and not a blessing. But his mother said to him, Let your curse be on me, my son.”
She took on herself the curse that would have been to Jacob. It was a self-imposed curse.
If you go to the end of the chapter, just the last verse, you’ll find Rebekah beginning to use very negative language about herself. Rebekah said to Isaac in verse 46:
“I am weary of my life because of the daughters of Heth: if Jacob takes a wife of the daughters of Heth, like those who are daughters of the land, what good will my life be to me?”
“I’m tired of living. What’s the good of living?” That’s a typical statement by somebody who is under a curse. See? Never permit yourself to say that. Don’t make negative statements about yourself. Don’t say I’ll never be able to do this. I never succeed. I’m no use. I’m a failure. I just can’t take it anymore. And then you go on and you say I wish I were dead. I’d be better off dead. Do you know what you’re doing? You’re inviting the spirit of death. And he doesn’t take many invitations.
Ruth and I have dealt with countless people who needed to be delivered from the spirit of death because they’d invited it, they imposed a curse upon themselves. And we’ve learned one beautiful verse that has helped hundreds of people. I’ll share it with you, Psalm 118:17:
“I shall not die, but live, and declare [or proclaim] the works of the Lord.”
If you have made a negative remark about yourself, if you’ve imposed something negative on yourself, you need to revoke it by the positive. You see, as a remarkable example you know that Peter denied three times he knew the Lord. Later on after the resurrection beside the Sea of Galilee Jesus had a personal talk with Peter. And three times he said, “Do you love me?” He made Peter affirm three times that he loved him. Why did he do that? Because Peter had to revoke the negative statements he’d made before the crucifixion. See? So if we’ve said something negative and brought some dark shadow over us, we need to revoke the negative and replace it by the positive. And this verse is a perfect one. “I shall not die...” It doesn’t mean you’ll never die but it means that Satan is not going to kill you before your time. “I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the Lord.” I think it would be good for all of us to say that. The first time you say it after me. “I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the Lord.” Now let’s all say it together this time. “I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the Lord.” Once more. “I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the Lord.” Now saying that may change the destiny of your life.
All right. Let’s go on to another example, the great tragedy of the Jewish history. In Matthew 27 Jesus is before Pilate and Pilate is willing to release him. We read in Matthew 27:24–25:
“When Pilate saw that he could not prevail at all, but rather a tumult was rising, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person: you see to it. And all the people answered and said, His blood be on us and on our children.”
What’s that? A self-imposed curse. The great tragedy of Jewish history. And by those words a strand of tragedy was woven into Jewish history which was run for nineteen centuries. What a lesson not to say the wrong thing about ourselves.
I pointed out to you in the previous session that God had protected Abraham against curses. He said, “Anyone that curses you, I will curse.” There’s just one area that God could not protect the Jewish people from, from themselves. And that’s true in our lives many times. God can protect us from everything except what we say about ourselves.
Then we’re going on in the next common cause of curses. It’s what I call unscriptural covenants. Exodus 23:32, in relationship to the people whom Israel was to dispossess from the land of Canaan; that is, all of them. Idol worshippers, people who lived in total rebellion against the living God. Moses said, Exodus 23:32:
“You shall make no covenant with them, nor with their gods.”
You understand, if people have false gods and you make a covenant with those people, you are also making a covenant with their gods. Now, I’m going to say something that I trust will not offend anybody and I say it simply because my desire is to help people. One extremely common example of that in our contemporary culture in the western world is freemasonry. Because, a person who becomes a mason makes a covenant with those who are masons. Freemasons will tell you that it’s secret, but it’s not. In the l950s a book was published in Britain by an Anglican clergyman named Hannah called Darkness Visible which sets out all the main rites and ceremonies of freemasonry, and no mason has ever challenged that book in more than thirty years. When you become a mason you have to pronounce a curse on yourself if you disclose the secrets of the masons. And it includes things like having your tongue cut out, your right arm cut off and thrown over your left shoulder, and your body being exposed in a place where the tides rise and fall twice in every twenty-four hours. Those are self-imposed curses. Freemasonry is an idol religion. It’s clear in the 32nd degree, the royal arch degree, which acknowledged and offers worship to a person called Jarbulon. Which is a combination of Jehovah, Baal and Osiris. And so the true God of the Bible is joined together with two idol deities whom God has totally condemned. When you make a covenant with that, you’re making a covenant with those gods.
I’m saying this on the basis of much experience. I cannot take time to relate all the experience but I’ll simply relate one. In Australia about three or four years ago Ruth and I were ministering in a church on Sunday morning and we were praying for people. A young woman came forward about eighteen years old with a tiny little baby in her arms, for prayer for the baby. And you would have said the baby was six days old but actually she told us it was six weeks old. We said what is the problem and she said she won’t take any nourishment. So, as we prayed the power of God came on this young woman and she went down on the floor. Ruth caught the baby out of her arms and held it. As she lay on the floor, God gave Ruth a word of knowledge to the people who were ministering to her. Her father is a freemason. Deal with that force. And the moment they came against it the woman began to writhe and scream under the power of a demon. And as they ministered, she was released with a prolonged scream. But the remarkable thing was the little baby in Ruth’s arms released a precisely similar scream at the same moment. So not merely was the mother released but the baby was released.
They came back that evening about six hours later and we asked the mother how the baby was doing. She said she’d taken three full bottles since the morning. But I want you to see the fact that the father’s participation in freemasonry had brought the curse upon the daughter and the granddaughter. I mean, I do not have time but I can give you half a dozen other specific examples.
It affects the family, it affects the descendants, it affects the spouse, it affects the relatives. There are other ways that this kind of curse can come in. Tribal societies, very commonly a baby or a young person is initiated into the tribe by certain rites. Very often there are cuts made on the skin or powder inserted under the skin. And that exposes that person to the curse that’s on the idolatry that’s the focus of that tribe. Again, I could but I don’t have time to give examples.
And then there are curses pronounced by servants of Satan. And there are various different words for such servants in different languages. In English I think we call them witch doctors. In America they call them medicine men. In Swahili it’s called umchawa. In the language of the Luo people it’s called juowki. If I’m not mistaken, amongst the Mauris it’s called tomanga. It’s the same thing in many different labels and guises. I want to tell you very frankly such men have real supernatural power, don’t underestimate it. Don’t go, if you’re going to be a missionary, to some tribal people and say Satan isn’t real, demons aren’t real, because they know much better than you that they are. Your message is Satan is real but Jesus has more power. That they’ll listen, especially if you can demonstrate it.
I think I must give one example. Again, it’s from Zambia. This is given us in writing by the man who was the witness of it. In an African Christian church two elders fell out with one another. And this may seem strange to you but it’s quite common in Africa. The one elder went to the witch doctor to put a curse on the other elder. Okay? And when he did that the witch doctor was very happy to oblige because it was a Christian. And this is what he did. He went out somewhere into the bush, got some soil of a certain kind, brought it back, smeared it over a hand mirror and then he said to the elder, “Now wipe the soil away and tell me what you see?” And he looked in the mirror and saw the face of the man of whom he wanted to curse in the mirror. Now the witch doctor said, “Take a knife and cut it through the mirror.” He did and when he did that, blood appeared on the mirror. And when the elder returned he discovered the other elder was dead. What would you call that? You couldn’t call it murder. Can you understand why the Bible prohibits witchcraft? This story is given in perfect detail by a man who’s a missionary, he’s about seventy years old and been a missionary ever since his boyhood. What I’m saying is don’t underestimate. That doesn’t mean you have to be afraid. Jesus said, “Behold, I give to you authority over all the power of the enemy.” He didn’t say the enemy doesn’t have power. He says, “I’ll give you authority over that power.” That’s the realistic approach.
Let’s look at one example in the Bible, Numbers 22:4–6. This is the story of Balaam. The king of Moab sent for Balaam who was a witch doctor. And a very powerful one and a very famous one. And Moab said to Balaam in verse 5:
“A people has come from Egypt [that’s Israel]: see, they cover the face of the earth and are settling next to me: therefore please come at once, curse this people for me; for they are too mighty for me: perhaps I shall be able to defeat them and drive them out of the land: for I know that he whom you bless is blessed, and he whom you curse is cursed.”
Now that was, in a sense, the regular practice in warfare—and still is among tribal societies today. Not only is your tribe fighting another tribe, but your tribe’s gods are fighting their gods. And if you can get the victory in advance, you win the battle. There’s a document somewhere in the Middle East in which it records seventy-seven nations on whom the kings of Egypt have pronounced curses. Because, if you can get your enemy cursed, then you can defeat him. That is the principle.
Just one interesting example because this is something that’s unfamiliar to many westerners. In the conflict between David and Goliath, when David went out with his sling and no armor, Goliath was angry and insulted and this is what happened. 1 Samuel 17:43:
“So the Philistine said to David, Am I a dog that you come to me with sticks? And the Philistine cursed David by his gods.”
Do you understand? Before they joined in battle he invoked his idol gods and David replied, “I’m not coming to you in my own name but in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel.” See, it was a fight between gods. And you know who was victorious. But I just want to point out to you that Satan’s servants have power to curse. Again, I could illustrate it from examples of people that we personally have helped.
One final way in which a curse can come is stated in Deuteronomy 7:26. The previous verse says about the inhabitants of Canaan:
“You shall burn their camp, the carved images of their gods. You shall not covet the silver or gold that is on it. [And then it says in verse 26:] Nor shall you bring an abomination into your house, lest you be doomed to destruction like it: but you shall utterly detest it and utterly abhor it, for it is an accursed thing.”
So when you bring anything that’s associated with idolatry or the occult into your house, you’re opening the way for a curse to come into your home. Again, this is something we deal with frequently. I tell people after such a service as this if you believe you’ve needed deliverance from a curse, you better go home and check what you’ve got in your house. Check if there’s anything there that advertises any other god but the Lord Jesus Christ. My personal principle is I don’t want anything in my home that dishonors Jesus Christ. Let me give one quick example. We often have cases where parents tell us that the children don’t sleep well at night, they’re restless, they cry, they’re frightened. One common reason for that is that somewhere in that house which gives Satan right of access. You need to go through your house from top to bottom, clean out anything that’s associated with the occult. Any kind of superstitious thing. If you have horseshoes to ward off ill luck, that’s superstition. It doesn’t ward off ill luck, it opens the door for Satan.
Now we come to the really important climax which is how to be released from a curse. I want to give you some simple instructions. There’s a basic pattern which I teach people that consists of four words, each of which begins with RE. Recognize, repent, renounce, resist. Recognize. Recognize what your problem is. See why I’ve spent this time dealing with these things, to help you to recognize your problem. All right. Number two, repent. Repent of anything that you’ve done that exposed you to the curse. Number three, renounce. Declare that you are no longer going to be subject to this thing. God told Israel don’t bow down before their gods. Don’t submit to them. And we have a right as Christians to make the same, “I’m not submitting to anything that’s from the other source. I refuse it. I renounce it. From now on it’s got no place in me.” And finally, resist. And that’s something continuous. Keep on resisting. Keep on refusing to let that thing again have any control over you. Let me say those words again. Recognize, repent, renounce, resist. James 4:7 says:
“Therefore, submit to God, [not to the enemy, not to demons but to God. And then it says] resist the devil [and what will happen?] he will flee from you.”
What will he do? I didn’t hear you. [Congregation says flee.] That’s right. When you’ve met the conditions. All right? But resisting is sometimes an ongoing process. It’s like if there’s a strong wind blowing you have to keep the door shut. If you open the door the wind will come in.
Then I say establish a clear scriptural basis for your release. The best one is Galatians 3:13–14:
“Christ has redeemed us from the curse, having become a curse for us, that we might receive the blessing of Abraham.”
I’ll give you a few other scriptures. Ephesians 1:7:
“In him [Jesus] we have redemption through his blood.”
“The Father has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and translated us into the kingdom of the son of His love: in whom we have redemption through His blood.”
So through the work of Jesus on the cross we can be delivered from the domain of darkness—that’s Satan’s domain—and translated, carried over into the kingdom of Jesus Christ. It’s like there are two territories and there’s a chasm between them. This territory is the territory of Satan, this territory is the kingdom of God. But there’s only one bridge across that chasm and that’s the cross of Jesus. If you take that bridge you can get out of this kingdom and into that kingdom—which is where God wants you.
Then 1 John 3:8, the second part:
“...for this purpose the Son of God was revealed, that He might destroy the works of the devil.”
To do what? Destroy the works of the devil. That’s why He came.
And then Luke 10:19, which I quoted earlier. Jesus said:
“Behold, I give to you authority over all the power of the enemy.”
So those are very clear scriptural bases.
Then when you’ve established that basis, confess your faith in Christ because Jesus is the high priest of our confession. It’s on the basis of your confession, what you say about Him, that He acts as your high priest.
Thirdly, commit yourself to obedience. You remember, how do we qualify for the blessings? What do we have to do? Hear God’s voice, do what He says. So, when you’ve received your release, make up your mind, commit yourself from now on I’m going to listen to what God says and do it.
The next step is confess any known sins. Either by yourself or your ancestors because the sins of your ancestors can in some ways affect you. But there’s a difference. You are not guilty for your ancestors’ sins but you’re affected by them. Do you understand? You are responsible for your own sins. But in order to be fully clear, if you know that your ancestors were idol worshippers or Christian Scientists or Mormons or let’s not go too long into the list, but something that’s totally unscriptural; be released from it.
Then you need to forgive all other persons. Jesus said when you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, what did He say to do? Forgive, that’s right. Anything against anyone. That leaves out nothing and no one. Unforgiveness in your heart is a barrier to the answer to your prayers. Now, forgiving is not an emotion, it’s a decision. I tell people it’s tearing up the IOU. I don’t know whether I’ve got time to tell this but I think of a woman. I was preaching on this, explaining how many wives who’ve been mistreated by their husbands still suffer because they’ve never forgiven. And I said it’s like this. You have in your hand a sheaf of IOUs from your husband. I owe you love, support, honor, care, et cetera. Those are perfectly valid, they’re legal. But God has in His hand up in heaven a sheaf of much larger IOUs from you to Him. Now, God says we’ll make a deal. You tear up your IOUs and I’ll tear up mine. But if you hold onto yours, I’ll hold onto mine. So, if you want to be forgiven you have to forgive. You don’t have any options. Well, at the end of one message I hadn’t done anything, just finished preaching. A young woman of about thirty, really sophisticated, smart looking woman, marched right up the aisle to the pulpit. I wondered what she was going to do, was she going to assault me or what. She looked me right in the face and said, “Mr. Prince, I just want to tell you that while you were preaching I got rid of about $30,000 worth of IOUs.” Turned around and walked out. I mean, I didn’t have to say a thing to her, she had got the message. I wish everybody would get it that quickly! So you have to forgive other persons.
Then you must renounce all contact with the occult. Okay? By yourself or by your ancestors. Again, you’re not responsible, you’re not guilty for what your ancestors did but it affects you.
Then you must get rid of all “contact objects,” the things I’ve been speaking about. If you bring them into your house you bring a curse with them.
Then when you’ve met those conditions you can release yourself in the name of Jesus. Jesus said whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven and whatever you release on earth will be released in heaven. We’re going to do that in a moment but I want to show you where to go from there when you’ve been released.
Then you have to confess and expect the blessing of Abraham because we’re released from the curse that we may receive the blessing of Abraham. And so Ruth and I are going to make one of our commonest confessions as a pattern to you.
“Through the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross we have passed out from under the curse and entered into the blessing of Abraham whom God blessed in all things.”
How many things? All. Do you want that blessing? God has provided it for you. We’ll probably do that again. Thank you, sweetheart. Remember that it’s the blessing of the Holy Spirit. In other words, it’s the Holy Spirit who administers the blessing. That’s important. You’ve got to be friends with the Holy Spirit. See, if you grieve the Holy Spirit, if you don’t honor the Holy Spirit, He withholds the blessing. He’s got the key to God’s storehouse. If you want the treasures, make friends with the keeper of the storehouse.
And then, as I’ve said already, bear in mind that it’s in all things. You won’t get it all in one night but you’ve qualified for it in one night, do you understand? If I can put it like this, some of you are going the wrong direction. Tonight you can make a U-turn, start going the right direction. But that doesn’t mean you’ve arrived. You’re on the way. You have to keep that direction, you have to keep hearing and doing what God says if you want to continue in the blessing of Abraham. And you have to keep making the right confession.
I think I won’t let you say it now, I’ll wait. If there are those of you here this evening who feel that in some way there’s the shadow of a curse over your life and you want to be released, I want to lead you in a prayer of release. You remember the story I told you of Miriam who read the prayer and was completely healed? I’m not promising you healing, that’s in God’s hands. But if your sickness is directly due to a curse, if you’re released from the curse you qualify for healing from your sickness. So, those of you that would like me to lead you, we just have a few moments left. I’d like you to stand to your feet and then I’m going to lead you in a prayer. If you feel there’s some shadow of a curse over your life, your family, your home. Let me say you really can’t lose by saying this. I mean, you don’t have that much anyhow so is that right? Maybe. All right.
Let me just very, very rapidly give you the steps I’m going to take you through. First of all, we’ve established a clear scriptural base. I gave you the scriptures. Now, you need to confess your faith in Christ, commit yourself to obedience, confess any known sins of yourself or your ancestors. When we do that I’ll give you a few moments to confess them silently. Then forgive all other persons, and I’ll give you a few moments to do a little forgiving. And then renounce all contact with the occult by yourself or your ancestors. Commit yourself to get rid of all “contact objects” and then release yourself in the name of Jesus. All right?
Now, I’m just going to give you the words, you’re not praying to me, you’re praying to the Lord Jesus Christ. And he’s the one that answers, not I. I don’t have the power, He does. All right. Say these words after me.
“Lord Jesus Christ, I believe that you are the Son of God and the only way to God, that you died on the cross for my sins and rose again from the dead. That on the cross you were made a curse with every curse that is due to me, that I might be redeemed from the curse and enter into the blessing. Lord, I confess any sins committed by me or by my ancestors. I ask your forgiveness. I also forgive every other person whoever harmed me or wronged me. I forgive them as I have God forgive me. I also forgive myself. I renounce all contact with the occult in any form and I commit myself to get rid of any ‘contact objects.’ And now Lord, having received by faith your forgiveness, with the authority I have as a child of God, I now release myself and those under my authority from any curse over our lives. Right now, in the name of Jesus, I declare release. I claim it and I receive it by faith. In the name of Jesus.”
Now begin to thank Him, that’s the surest expression of faith. Thank you Lord, thank you Lord, thank you Lord Jesus. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
Now let’s make our good confession. Ruth, come up and help me again. Now I believe you’re fully entitled to say this. You know what we’re going to say? Are you ready?
“Through the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross we have passed out from under the curse and entered into the blessing of Abraham whom God blessed in all things.”
Now it’s a very good principle which we did earlier in the worship to turn to somebody and say it to them about yourself. All right? So find somebody. If there’s just two of you, face one another. If there’s three of you, face each other and you’re going to say it in the singular. We’ll give you the words. Are you ready? All right. Find somebody to look at. Are you ready?
“Through the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross we have passed out from under the curse and entered into the blessing of Abraham whom God blessed in all things.”
Now just take a little while to thank the Lord, that’s the simplest expression of faith. Thank you Lord Jesus. Thank you Lord. Remember, you’ve made the U-turn, now continue right in the new direction. God bless you. Amen.