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Release from the curse Study
by Derek Prince
Click above to get the text and Listen icons for each of the subjects in this list:
- God Himself
- Illicit or Unnatural Sex
- Trust in Man
- Stinginess Towards God
- Preaching False Gospel
- Issued by God's "Mouthpieces"
- Relational Authority including Husbands and Wifes and Parents and Children
- Self-imposed Curses
- Unscriptural Covenants including Freemasonry
- Servants of Satan
- Unclean Objects in Our Homes
Section 3 - The Cure
Establish a Scriptural Basis for release
Confess your Faith
Commit to Obedience
Confess Any Known Sins
Renounce All Contact With the Occult
Claim Release in Jesus' Name
Conclusion - Prayer of Release - Give Him Thanks
The theme is “Release from the Curse.” And this contains truths which God has been teaching me largely, I would say, in the last five years. Truths which have revolutionized my own life and the lives of countless other people to whom I’ve been privileged to minister this truth. In some areas where I’ve ministered, when I have asked people at the end of the message if they want to avail themselves of what God offers through this truth, I would say ninety-five percent of the people have responded. And we have seen the most dramatic changes in people.
I remember speaking in Zambia in central Africa several years ago now. I taught this theme and at the end a man came up to me, and Africans are basically not wealthy, but he was a well dressed, educated man. He threw himself on the ground at my feet and would have kissed my feet if I would have allowed him to. Then he stood up—and he was probably about forty years of age—and he said, “All my life I’ve been in pain and I’ve been miserable. I haven’t known one happy day.” But he said, “Since I prayed that prayer with you, everything has changed in me. I’m totally free from pain, I’m a different person.”
So, this is a message that has power. It’s appropriate to turn to Galatians 3:13–14 as a basis for this message. Galatians 3:13–14:
“Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one who hangs on a tree: That the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.”
Those verses reveal an exchange that took place when Jesus hung on the cross. It states in the Old Testament in the book of Leviticus that anyone who dies by hanging on a tree is a curse. And so when Jesus hung on the tree that was the cross He became a curse. What took place was a divinely ordained exchange which is clearly stated in these verses. Jesus took upon Himself the curse, every curse, due to us that we might be redeemed from the curse and enter into the blessing which God has prepared for His people. So there is a very simple practical exchange. Jesus became a curse that we might receive the blessing.
In order to make this real to you I invite you to join with me in saying that. And I’d like you to use your hands; your left hand for the bad thing, your right hand for the good thing. Watch me once and then we’ll do it together. “Jesus became a curse that we might receive the blessing.” Okay? Now remember, your left hand is opposite my right so don’t get confused by me. And don’t hit your neighbor on the nose but just do it tactfully! Are you ready? “Jesus became a curse that we might receive the blessing.”
What I’m going to do now is explain to you the nature of curses and blessings. These are two major themes of Scripture. I think the word bless in various forms occurs about 600 times in the Bible. And the word curse probably nearly half that number of times. But I have learned by experience that most of God’s people are not really familiar with the nature of curses and blessings. I believe it’s the purpose of God that through the redemption in Christ we should be released from curses and enjoy the blessings. But wherever I travel I find many of God’s people who are enduring curses when they should be enjoying blessings. One main reason is they don’t know how to recognize what’s a curse and what’s a blessing.
The second reason is that even if they recognize it they may not know how to be released from the curse and entered into the blessing. So let me begin by offering you a simple definition of blessings and curses. Both of them are vehicles of supernatural power. It’s very important to understand we’re not dealing with something that’s purely natural. It goes beyond the natural. They are vehicles of supernatural power for good if they’re blessings, for evil if they’re curses. And one characteristic feature of them is that very frequently they’ll continue on from generation to generation. Often until somebody knows how to cut them off if they’re curses. The result of that is that many people—and some of you are here tonight—are enduring in your life consequences of things that may have taken place many generations ago. And you have to trace your problem to its source and take the appropriate action in order to be released.
Biblical examples of blessings and curses
Now, the vehicles of blessings and curses are usually words. They may be words that are spoken,words that are written or simply words that are pronounced inwardly. However, both curses and blessings can be transferred or transmitted by objects, by physical objects. So it is not always just a question of words. To take a very simple example: In the communion that we celebrate as Christians, Paul says the cup of blessing which we bless is it not the communion of the body of Christ? So, through that cup, which is a physical object with the wine in it, God transmits to us a blessing.
In the Old Testament there were various examples of curses transmitted by objects. But particularly under the Law of Moses, if a woman was accused of being unfaithful to her husband there was a specific test. The priest would take her to the tabernacle, write out a curse and then wash off the words of the curse, the ink, into a cup of water. And the woman would be compelled to drink the water and pronounce the curse upon herself. If she was innocent nothing would happen to her. Her husband would never be free to accuse her again. But if she was guilty there would be disastrous physical consequences in her body. I merely give that as an example of a curse transmitted by something that is physical. In that case, a cup of water.
Derek's Personal Example
Now, I have come into this truth by personal experience. I hardly ever preach on anything that is mere abstract theory. Nearly everything that I’ve ever taught has been related in some way to things that have happened in my life. This is particularly true of this message. I want to give you three personal incidents that gradually alerted me. I didn’t come into this just in one moment; it was a gradual process of unfolding truth. And I think God supervised my education by permitting me to have certain experiences and deal with certain cases that opened my eyes to these things.
Going back to the end of the l960s when I was living in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, with my first wife Lydia, I had inherited from my maternal grandfather various Chinese pieces of art and culture. The way that came about, just as a matter of history, is that my grandfather who was an officer in the British Army was the officer commanding an expeditionary force that the British government sent to China in l904 to suppress what was known as the Boxer Rising or the Boxer Rebellion. And he returned with various items that he’d acquired in China. In due course, through my mother, some of these passed by inheritance to me.
Among them were four gorgeous embroidered dragons, each one on a separate piece of material. I mean, the colors were gorgeous. I learned from somebody who knew a little bit about Chinese culture they were Imperial Dragons because they had five claws. Ordinary dragons just have four claws but Imperial Dragons have five claws. And I really was very close to my grandfather so these meant a lot to me. When we set up house in Fort Lauderdale I had these four dragons framed on our living room wall. But after a while the Holy Spirit began to trouble me. Have you ever been troubled by the Holy Spirit? Do
you know what we do first? We shrug it off and we say that’s nonsense, He wouldn’t do that. Anyhow, the Holy Spirit would say to me, “Now, in the Bible what does the dragon represent?” Well, I knew the Bible well enough to be able to know the answer to that. The dragon represents the devil very clearly in Revelation 12:9 and so on. Well, then He would say to me, “Is it appropriate for you as a servant of Christ to have on the wall of your living room something that advertises the devil?” Well, you know, I struggled with this for a little while and I said, “All right, God, you win. I’ll get rid of the dragons.” And I did.
Now, I didn’t do that with any motive except obedience to God. But the results were quite remarkable. Up to that time I had been just getting by financially. I traveled and preached and received honorariums. And they covered our needs but we had no real surplus. Also, there were certain strange things happening even in my family. I was finding it difficult to communicate with my wife. Then I was entitled to an inheritance from my parents, a very substantial sum of money, and because of various
irresponsible acts by other people the inheritance was interminably held up. Now, I just got rid of the dragons but I began to realize that my whole level of prosperity had changed. I didn’t do anything different but the next year my income doubled without my making any changes.
Then I received the inheritance, it was released. And my first wife and I were able to purchase a house which was a rather big step of faith for us but we felt very clearly directed by God to purchase that house.
Now I’m not just preaching prosperity because, I mean, I think that has to be very carefully qualified. But prosperity with a purpose. We moved into that house, we lived in it for nine years and we sold it for more than three times what we paid for it. With the money that we obtained my second wife Ruth and I were able to build a home in Jerusalem—which is very expensive. God provided the finance through the sale of that house. That was not something we had planned. I didn’t have any conscious intention, but I realized that a dark evil force had invaded my home through those dragons. And until that force was expelled and dealt with I could not go on in the fullness of God’s plan for my life and ministry.
One interesting thing was I didn’t even know what God had for me that I was being kept from, you see? I’ve seen this is true in many peoples’ lives. When people are dealing with a curse they don’t know what they would be like to be freed from the curse. They can’t picture it.
Other examples of people released from Curses
A Cursed Family
Well then a little later I was ministering in a church, a Presbyterian Church somewhere in what they call the Midwest of the United States. I had finished my message and I was standing behind the pulpit. I didn’t quite know what I was going to do next and I saw a family on the front seat on my left: father, mother and teenage daughter. And as I looked at them I felt the Holy Spirit said there is a curse over that family. I hadn’t preached on that, I wasn’t thinking about that and I didn’t quite know what to do about it. So I just waited and it came very clearly again “there is a curse over that family.” So I stepped up to the father and I said, “Sir, I believe God has shown me there’s a curse over your family. Would you like me
to release you from it in the name of Jesus?” I really had no experience, I was just moving out in faith. He immediately said, “Yes.” I learned later from him that there had been so many disastrous things happening in his life and in the life of his family that he accepted the fact there was a curse. Then I prayed a short simple prayer out loud releasing the family from the curse. When I said “In the name of Jesus”, there was a visible, physical reaction in each member of the family, although I was not touching any of them. So I stepped back and then I noticed that the teenage daughter had one leg in a cast from the top of her thigh to the bottom of her foot. So I went back and said, “Would you like me to pray for the healing of your daughter’s leg?” He immediately said yes but he said, “You ought to know she’s broken the same leg three times in eighteen months and the doctor said it will not heal.” Well, if I heard that today that somebody had broken the same leg three times in eighteen months I wouldn’t really doubt that there was a curse in operation, but it was new to me. I said, “All I can do is just pick the leg up in my hands and say a simple prayer”, which is what I did.
A few weeks later I got a letter from the man thanking me and saying specifically that when they went back with the daughter to the clinic to have the leg x-rayed, the x-ray showed that it was healed. And very shortly afterwards the cast was taken off.
But as I meditated on that I realized this: That the curse which God had showed me over the family was a barrier to the healing of the daughter’s leg. Until the barrier was removed, prayer for the healing of her leg would not be effective. And this is a principle that I’ve seen now hundreds of times that a curse over a family or over an individual can be an invisible barrier that keeps away the blessing that God intends those people to have. In my case through the dragons it was the blessing of financial prosperity and release to God’s will. In the case of this girl the blessing was the healing of her broken leg but the curse was the barrier.
After that I began to teach on this and I made some tapes, including a series of three messages called “Curses: Cause and Cure.” And these began to circulate and I began to get remarkable testimonies of what was happening not just to individuals but to whole congregations. One of the sets of three tapes found its way to South Africa. And a little later Ruth and I were there ministering in South Africa, we were in Capetown, and we encountered a Jewish lady who had met the Lord Jesus and acknowledged Him as her Messiah and her Savior. She told us firsthand this story, we got it straight from her. She was what they call an executive secretary, very highly qualified. She had a very well paid job with a man who was the president of his own firm. After a little while she discovered that the president and all the executives in the firm were in a strange cult under a lady guru. Then the president asked her if she would type out some blessings that this guru lady had pronounced on the executives. When this lady began to type them she realized that they were anything but blessings as far as Christians were concerned, so she went to her boss and said, “I’m sorry but I don’t feel free to type these blessings.” The boss was gracious, he said, “I’m sorry. If I had known it was against your conscience I wouldn’t have asked you to do it.”
That was the end of that.
Now we have to supply something by inference. But I am sure that the lady guru heard about this secretary that wouldn’t type her blessings. And who knows what she did? She may have prayed or she may have pronounced a curse. But from that source it really wouldn’t make much difference which it was. Within a few weeks this lady secretary, I’ll call her Miriam—it wasn’t her name. Miriam’s fingers began to go stiff and curl up and set and in a short while they were extremely painful and she couldn’t bend them. She said you wouldn’t believe the pain. She had to sleep in a separate bed from her husband because any time her husband turned over and the bed shook the pain was unendurable in her fingers. She went to a specialist who X-rayed them and said it was rheumatoid arthritis. She was, in a sense, a crippled person.
Another lady, a Charismatic lady, had received these three cassettes of mine and felt that this lady Miriam ought to hear them. I don’t think Miriam was really very excited about them, she was a rather sophisticated lady and I think the thought of curses was something remote and medieval in her eyes. Anyhow, this other lady prevailed so they sat and listened to the three cassettes. And at the end of the third cassette I lead people in a prayer by which they release themselves from any curse over their lives. At the point where the prayer began, the cassette jammed. It wouldn’t go forward, it wouldn’t go back and it wouldn’t eject. That is not purely natural. So Miriam said, “Well, then I can’t say the prayer.” This indefatigable lady said, “Oh no, I have the prayer typed out! I’ll bring that.” So she persuaded Miriam, I think rather against her own judgment, to read this prayer. Now, you could read the prayer within three minutes, it wouldn’t take as much as that. So Miriam just dutifully read the prayer and in between the time she began reading the prayer and the time she finished, her fingers and her hands were totally released. There was no trace of arthritis. She went back to the doctor, he confirmed medically the healing. What I want to emphasize is this. She was not praying for healing. It wasn’t in her mind. She was simply releasing herself from a curse. But when the curse was broken there was no more reason for sickness, you see? Another example of the invisible barrier.
Forms of Blessings
Now I want to deal out of scripture with the forms that blessings and curses take. There is one particular chapter in the Old Testament which deals exclusively with blessings and curses. How many of you know which it is? Deuteronomy 28. All right. It’s got fourteen verses of blessings and fifty-four verses of curses. Now, we can’t go into that because of time but I suggest if you’re concerned, that at your own convenience you study that chapter carefully. I’ve studied it many times and I’m going to offer you my summation. But please exercise your own judgment as to whether you think this is accurate or not.
Here is my summation of the main blessings and the main curses. As a fatter of fact, really, they’re exactly opposite to one another.
Here are seven blessing:
- Number one, exaltation means being lifted up. You’re no longer living under things.
- Number two, a word I had to coin, reproductiveness. I couldn’t find one normal English word. But a person who is in the blessing of God is fruitful in every area of his or her life.
- Number three, health.
- Number four, prosperity or success.
- Number five, victory.
- Number six, Moses said you’ll be the head and not the tail.
- And number seven, you’ll be above and not beneath.
When I was studying that some years ago I asked the Lord what’s the difference between the head and the tail. I feel He gave me a simple answer. The head makes the decisions, the tail just gets dragged around. So which way are you living? Are you making the decisions? Are you in charge of the situation? Or, are you simply being dragged around like a tail by circumstances and forces that you don’t understand and you can’t control? If you’re a tail it’s very possible you’re under a curse.
I’m not saying every one of those blessings is due to this cause but that’s for you to discern. There’s only one expert in this field and his name is not Derek Prince. It’s the Holy Spirit. He’s the one who has to show you personally. I can preach the general truth but you have to get the specific application from the Holy Spirit.
Forms of curses
- Failure to reproduce or barrenness. I would say basically barrenness is nearly always in some way associated with a curse.
- Number three, sickness of every kind. And if you read Deuteronomy 28, I mean, there is no sickness that is left out by the time you’ve come to that list.
- Number four, poverty or failure.
- Number five, defeat.
- Number six, you’re the tail and not the head.
- And number seven, you’re beneath, not above.
You’ve probably heard about the two Christians who met. One of them said, “Well, how are you doing, Brother?” And he replied, “Well, under the circumstances I’m not doing badly.” And the first Christian said, “Well, what are you doing under the circumstances?” You should be above and not beneath.
Over the years, independently of this list, I made a little list of indications that to me alerted me that I was probably dealing with a curse. I only say probably. And I made this independently of Deuteronomy 28 but it’s amazing really how close it is. I happen to have a list of seven. I want to be very clear I’m not saying if you have one of these it’s absolutely sure you’re under a curse. You need to examine the possibility and seek God. But if you have several of them, the more you have the greater the possibility that you’re under a curse.
Here’s my little list:
- Number one, mental and/or emotional breakdown. Where people fall apart, that’s a phrase that’s used today. They say he or she just fell apart. That’s what I’m talking about, emotionally, mentally or both.
- Number two, repeated or chronic sicknesses. Especially if they’re hereditary because, you see, curses pass from generation to generation. Also, in situations where doctors cannot find any normal cause.
- Number three, what are called female problems. Barrenness, a tendency to miscarry, and problems with menstruation. Ruth and I have dealt with so many cases like this that wherever a person comes for prayer in that category, we just simply act on the basis that it’s a curse. In fact, we have come to the place where we really feel often we’re wasting our time to minister to the sick without first teaching them how to be delivered from the curse. We once called for a line-up of people with female problems and in the middle of the line was a man! So when he came up I said, “What’s your problem? How can you have a female problem?” He said, “My problem is depression, and that’s female!” However, I didn’t accept his statement.
- The next one, a breakdown of marriage and family alienation, where families fall apart, where marriages break up, where children are alienated from their parents, brothers from sisters. Very, very probably a curse at work.
- The next one, financial insufficiency. I want to be careful how I say this. I don’t think that poverty for a short period—it may be a test that God is putting us through. But if you’re always short, if you never have enough, if you’re always scraping, I think you very probably are under a curse.
- Then the next one is what they call accident prone. In other words, you’re one of the people that always has an accident, you know? This is kind of objective because insurance companies will check on you and they’ll give you a higher premium if they classify you as accident prone. I mean, that’s not natural to be the person who always breaks your ankle when you step off the curb or your wife always slams the car door on your finger or whatever it may be. Or, it’s always your eye that a little bug flies into. I mean, it’s not natural if it’s always going on.
- And then finally, in a family a history of suicides or unnatural deaths. If there’s a frequency of those things in a family.
Let me just very quickly go through that again: Mental and/or emotional breakdown, repeated or chronic sicknesses—especially when they’re hereditary, female problems, breakdown of marriage/family alienation, financial insufficiency, accident prone and in a family, history of suicides and unnatural deaths.
Now, that doesn’t cover everything. So I try to give also what I call a general picture because there are lots of things that could be the result of a curse that are not in that list. And this is what I’ve come up with as a result of dealing with many different people. You could say a curse is like a long evil arm from the past. And you don’t know how far back. It’s stretched out and every time you’re just about to succeed or get to where you want to be, this evil arm trips you up and you have to get up and start again. You get so far and you’re tripped up again. And that really becomes the story of your life.
You’d be surprised how many people have told me stories like that. And so many times they said, “Well, the same thing happened to my father or my grandfather. In other words, it seems to run in our family.” Or, another simple picture is a dark shadow from the past over your life, shutting out the sunlight of God’s blessing. You can see other people walking in the sunlight and you know it’s there and real, but somehow the sun very seldom seems to shine fully on you. So, if any of those apply, you need to be seeking God as we continue with this message for the Holy Spirit to show you what your particular need or situation or problem is.
No Curse without a cause
“Like a flitting sparrow, like a flying swallow, so a curse without cause shall not alight.”
In other words, if there’s a curse there’s always a cause. There’s something that caused it. My experience is in helping people that very often it’s helpful and sometimes necessary to discover the cause before you can deal with the curse. I’m going to take now some time to deal with Biblical causes of curses.
Let’s go to Deuteronomy 28 for what I would call the primary causes both of blessings and curses. And fortunately they’re very simple. The first two verses of Deuteronomy 28 says this:
“Now it shall come to pass, if you diligently obey the voice of the Lord your God, to observe carefully all His commandments which I command you today, that the Lord your God will set you high above all nations of the earth: And all these blessings shall come upon you, and overtake you, because you obey the voice of the Lord your God.”
That’s a translation which I think is followed by most modern translations, but the Old King James used to say “if you will listen diligently to the voice of the Lord your God.” And in Hebrew, that phrase is formed by repeating the word listen. If you will listen listening—that’s emphatic—to the voice of the Lord your God, and do what He says. So very, very simply the primary cause of all blessings is listening to God’s voice and doing what He says.
Now the primary cause of all curses is exactly the opposite. In verse 15 of the same chapter:
“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.”
So what’s the cause of curses? Not listening to God’s voice, not doing what He says. So there basically you have the two root causes. The cause of blessing: listening to God’s voice, doing what He says. The cause of curses: not listening to God’s voice, not doing what He says. I want to tell you right now that if you are released from a curse, in order to remain in the blessing you will have to fulfill this condition: you’ll have to listen to God’s voice and do what He says. If you go back to not listening and not doing, you’re liable to come under a curse again.
Causes of Curses
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There are also in the Bible a number of different sources and specific causes for curses. We’ve dealt with the general one, now we’ll deal with some specifics. The first source of curses—and this may surprise some of you—is God Himself. There are many curses in the Bible which God Himself pronounces. Probably one of the most common forms of God’s judgment on disobedient people or nations is to pronounce a curse on them. And then as the curse is worked out, that’s the outworking of God’s judgment. Do you understand that? God both blesses and curses.
So we’re going to deal, first of all, now with curses that proceed from God Himself. And there is one supreme cause which is stated in Exodus 20:3–5. This is the first part of the Ten Commandments. Let me say before we read the greatest and most common cause of curses in peoples’ lives is breaking the first two commandments. In fact, I’m inclined to believe you cannot break those commandments without coming under a curse. Now let me read those words.
“You shall have no other gods before me.”
But the Hebrew means just as much beside me. It’s not a question of having the Lord as the main god and other gods as well. He says, “I am the Lord and beside Me there is no other god.” So, you must not acknowledge any other god except the true God.
And the second is what we would call idolatry.
“You shall not make for yourself any carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: 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 on the children to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me.”
Notice that’s the specific feature of a curse, it goes on for at least three and probably four generations. Think of the billions of people on earth all of whose ancestors worshiped idols for countless centuries. Think of the pile-up of curses that there is. Travel in Southeast Asia. In my opinion it’s scarcely worth ministering in Southeast Asia if you can’t deal with the subject of the curse because basically ninety-five percent of all the people there are under a curse. That’s not to say that they’re bad people. I think they’re wonderful people. But there’s something from the past, you see.
It’s very important to see that having another god besides the one true God includes every form of occult practice. I cannot take time this evening to go into all the possible forms of the occult, because they are almost countless. But whenever you go to a source other than the true God for things which you are free only to seek from the true God, whatever source you go to you are actually making your god. So, if you go to a fortune teller for information about the future which God has said you shall not receive through that channel, through that fortune teller you’re making the power behind that fortune teller your god. You play with a Ouija board. If you get involved in all sorts of occult experiences or cults that deny the truth of the Bible. In all those things you are making a god who is not the true God. So, it’s very important to say this, the curses pronounced for the breaking of the first two commandments cover every form of occult.
Now, the Lord says up to the fourth generation. If you do a little arithmetic, go back four generations. Every one of us has thirty ancestors. How many of us can say for sure that none of our thirty ancestors were ever involved in the occult? Maybe a few of us can, I don’t know. I certainly couldn’t.
To give you a very simple example of this. A good many years ago I was in a typical home prayer meeting which was the kind of thing that was going on in those days. I just found myself next to a young man of about twenty or so. I said to him, I suppose the Holy Spirit prompted me, “Have you received the Holy Spirit?” He said, “Yes, but . . .” And whenever a person answers that question yes but, you know what the but is. “But I don’t speak in tongues.” And it seemed to me he really wanted to speak in tongues. I wasn’t trying to force him. I didn’t argue with him but the Lord prompted me, I said, “Did you ever go to a fortune teller?” He thought and he said, “Yes, once when I was about fifteen. But I only did it for a joke, I didn’t mean anything by it.” I said, “You did go.” He said yes. I said, “You know, God forbids that kind of thing.” He was a little reluctant to acknowledge that but he did. I said, “May I lead you in a prayer in which you confess that as a sin and release yourself from its consequences?” He said all right. I think he only said it because he just wanted, you know, to get me off his back. So I led him in a very simple prayer, “Lord, I confess as a sin that I went to that fortune teller, et cetera.” I didn’t say another word to him, put my hand on his shoulder and prayed for him. He immediately began to speak fluently in an unknown tongue. In a few moments he was just lost. You see, there was an invisible barrier that kept him from the freedom of tongues. What was it? The occult. It’s just a simple example.
Now in Deuteronomy 27:15–26 we have twelve curses pronounced and when Israel went into the Promised Land they had to pronounce all these curses upon themselves. If they disobeyed the Law they automatically came under these curses. They couldn’t get into the Promised Land without. I think it’s very much the same in a way when we come into a relationship with God, if we’re obedient we come under the blessings but if we’re disobedient we’re in real danger of coming under the curses.
I’ll just give you my little summation of the things on which the curses are pronounced in Deuteronomy 27:15 and following. Number one, once again, idolatry, false gods. That’s always at the top of the list. Number two, disrespect for parents. And this is repeated in the New Testament, Ephesians 6:
“Honor your father and mother, which is the first commandment with promise, that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.”
My personal conviction is any person who does not honor his parents never will have it well with him, never. I can think of scores of examples of people. That doesn’t mean you can’t get saved, speak in tongues and go to heaven when you die. But there will be something missing in the quality of your life until you adjust your relationship with your parents. That doesn’t mean you have to agree with your parents or do everything that they say, but you have to respect them.
I think of another young man I dealt with. He had a very bad relationship with his father. His father was dead, buried in a cemetery more than a thousand miles from where we were. When this truth really penetrated he took a journey of a thousand miles to the cemetery where his father was buried, went to the grave, knelt at it, confessed his wrong attitudes to his father, wept his heart out and got up a different person. And from then the course of his life changed. I know that there are lots of parents, especially today, you have a lot of reasons for having something against them. I understand that. I say there are no delinquent children, there are only delinquent parents. Nevertheless, if you want to have it well with you, you better do what God says. You can’t afford not to.
Then the next, and we must go quickly, in this list is treachery against a neighbor. The book of Proverbs says whoever rewards evil for good, evil will never depart from his house.
And then injustice to the weak or helpless. Personally, I can’t think of anything more weak or helpless than a baby in its mother’s womb. Personally, my conviction is anybody who deliberately procures an abortion comes under a curse. I would never minister to such a person without dealing with the curse. I want you to understand I’m not saying you’re cursed forever, please understand. I’m telling you the problem because I’m going to show you the solution.
Then illicit or unnatural sex, especially incest. And again, I don’t know what the particular figures are here, but in the United States it’s now estimated that one out of every four girls under ten has been sexually molested and one out of every five boys under ten. I cannot think myself that it will ever happen without a curse following it.
We’re going on from this list, Genesis 12 we have God’s call to Abraham. We need to look at that because it has something significant in it. God calls Abraham out, promises various things, and in verse 3 this is the end of the call. He says to Abraham:
“I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you.”
So there’s both a blessing and a curse. I believe that was necessary because whenever God singles out a man to be blessed, that man becomes the object of all sorts of evil satanic forces. So God incorporated a protection. He said to Abraham, “Anyone who curses you, I will curse.”
Now we won’t go on but in Genesis 27:29, that protection is extended by Isaac to Jacob in his father’s blessing. “Cursed be everyone who curses you, Jacob.”
So you’ll see that line is Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, which became what nation? Israel, that’s right.
And what is the generic name for cursing or speaking against or abusing the Jewish people? Anti-Semitism. In my personal opinion, Anti-Semitism almost invariably is followed by a curse for an individual, for a nation. And if you look at the history of the last nineteen centuries, you see nation after nation after nation that came under a curse because they cursed the Jewish people. Ruth and I have a very good friend who is a Palestinian Arab born in Haifa, an American citizen who had a dramatic encounter with Jesus some years ago. I led him into the baptism of the Holy Spirit. He was a millionaire at the time.
After he was saved, listen to this, he became bankrupt. He had the sense to say, “God, what are you telling me?” God said, “I’m dealing with your pride.” But God also showed him something, that he and all his ancestors had regularly cursed the Jewish people. And believe me, I’ve lived amongst the Arabs in Palestine. It’s normal, they all do it basically, with a few exceptions. God showed him that if he would change that attitude he would restore his blessing. He repented and asked God to give him love for the Jewish people. And he is a Palestinian Arab who is more pro Israel than most Jews. And he’s now a multi-millionaire. See? How important it is to discover the causes that are at work in your life.
Then there’s another very important curse pronounced in the prophet Jeremiah which is just a few short words, and I think often we pass them over without really appreciating their significance. Jeremiah 17:5–6:
“Thus says the Lord; Cursed is the man who trusts in man, and makes flesh his strength, whose heart departs from the Lord. For he shall be like a shrub in the desert, and shall not see when good comes; but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land which is not inhabited.”
Notice please that that’s a very good description of somebody under a curse. Blessings are all around but he lives in a salt land. Rain falls everywhere else but it doesn’t fall on him. What’s the cause of that curse? Trusting in man, making flesh your arm. But the scripture says whose heart departs from the Lord. In other words, here is a man who’s known the supernatural grace and blessing of God and then turns back to relying on his own efforts. Turned his back on God’s grace. And that brings a curse.
I ask you to exercise your own judgment. But I would say that’s the condition of the greater part of the professing Christian church today. Almost all the major movements in the church that we know of today, and I will not name any, began out of a sovereign supernatural visitation and work of the Holy Spirit. Otherwise they’d have never made it in history. But most of them today, I would say, have turned away from the supernatural grace and power of God and have started to rely on their own efforts and what their own strength and ability can do. And on that count they are under a curse. I think that’s one tremendous problem with the Christian church, that whereas we should be in the blessing, because of disobeying Jeremiah 17:5, we’ve come under a curse.
I’ll go quickly now, in Zechariah 5:1–4, Zechariah had a vision of a flying scroll and there was a curse on each side of the scroll. One was a curse on anyone who steals and the other was on anyone who commits perjury. And in the vision this scroll would go into a person’s house, take up lodging there, and the whole house would disintegrate. See, that’s the nature of a curse. It doesn’t just affect the particular area but it has a kind of corrosive effect all around it. So we need to consider that. Next time when—I’m sure you do fill in an Income Tax Return—just bear in mind that if you are dishonest you’re exposing yourself to a curse. Because I’m sure you have to say this is a true return, et cetera, et cetera.
You know that at least in the United States nearly ten percent of the cost of retail goods is due to insurance against theft. Just think of how different the situation would be if people didn’t steal. Basically, that would be the answer to inflation. Can you see how real that curse is? That it affects a whole nation.
And then in Malachi 3, I think we have to look at this. Malachi 3:8–10:
“Will a man rob God? Yet you have robbed me. But you say, In what way have we robbed you? In tithes and offerings. You are cursed with a curse; for you have robbed me, even this whole nation. Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be fruit in my house, and prove me now in this, says the Lord of hosts, if I will not open for you the windows of heaven, and pour you out such a blessing that there will not be room enough to receive it.”
Now I’m not teaching all Christians ought to pay tithes. Because as I understand the New Testament it’s not law, it’s grace. But I would suggest to you that grace should make us more generous than law. We’re told we have a better covenant established on better promises. Do you think on that basis we could offer less than the Israelites? But I’ll say this one thing. Stinginess toward God brings a curse. It is very poor economy to be stingy with God. And I tell Christians everywhere when the offering comes around, God does not need your tips. Really, if you stop and think for a moment, just to tip God half a dollar or a dollar or fifty Pence or whatever it may be, don’t do it. You don’t have to give but you are giving to God. Actually, as I said, He does not need your tips. There’s such irreverence in the church in this matter of giving. We should realize that giving is part of worship and do it as worship. I’d have to say I’m British right to the core. About my own nation Britain—I think Britain came under a curse because the British Christians basically were stingy. Now, I thank God that’s changing. I think there’s a new day coming in Britain. I’ve lived through that. I was a pastor for about nine years in England. The motto of the church board in England is “You keep him humble, we’ll keep him poor.” And they certainly keep their side of the bargain!
And then in Galatians 1, here is another tremendously significant statement that affects the church. Paul is speaking about the gospel that was revealed to him supernaturally by Jesus. And he says in Galatians 1:8–9:
“Even if we or an angel from heaven preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let it be accursed.”
The Greek word there is anathema which has been taken over into the English language. The word anathema means something so totally abhorrent to God that He will never have any dealings with it. It’s totally shut off from Him. What is the cause of that curse? Preaching anything under the name of the gospel which is not the truth of the gospel. When you put Jeremiah 17:5 and Galatians 1:8–9 together and apply them to the contemporary church, I think it’s marvelous there’s any blessing left. And you add Malachi 3, cursed is the one who is stingy with God.
Brothers and sisters, do you know what we need to do? We need to repent. We need to change our ways, we need to take God very seriously. There are a lot of different definitions of faith but I’ll offer you just a very simple one. Faith is taking God seriously. Taking the Bible seriously.
I was five and a half years in the British Army during World War II. And I heard many, many (quote) “chaplains” preach. I didn’t know the Lord and I didn’t know the gospel when I went into the army. I met the Lord in the army. I cannot remember hearing one chaplain preach the gospel. So this is a tremendous issue that confronts us.
Now, we have to close this session but we'll be continuing in the next one. I'll be carrying on where I left off. I'll be dealing with other cause of curses. Then we'll come to the really important part which is how to be released from the curse. So may I ask that you remain in a prayerful attitude. That doesn't mean you have to not talk to your neighbour, but don't let the anointing which is on you right now be dissipated because God has got a lot for you. He's got a lot for many people here tonight. Don't cheat yourself out of it. Maintain an attitude that qualifies you to be released from the curse and receive the blessing.
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 world 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 and ministry.
Husbands and Wifes
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 previously 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 Jabulon. 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. She said 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 to, 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 get him 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 is something 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.
Click here to see a listing of common Occults etc. extracted from Derek Prince's book, Blessing or Curse: You Can Choose!
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. [He'll 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. 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.
If you 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 would 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. 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 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.
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