Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Curses and Deliverance

Human life at every level - individual, family and societsacredheart4y - is in great distress these days. It is increasingly frustrating as time passes. Many suffer grave physical ailments and mental diseases and resort to medical remedies. The number of sterile couples and suicides continue to increase. Mental ailments are widespread. Terrorism has overrun the world. In Kerala too, showcased as God's own country, terrorism seems to have a diabolic grip. Many are getting crushed under the weight of economic slump and indebtedness.
Why is it that human life is in so much grief and despair? Though science has made great progress, man does not seem to enjoy peace and serenity in life; his problems remain unresolved and puzzling as ever. Many comfort themselves as fate and God-given; some consider it as human suffering. But does God really want man to have this suffering? In other words, does God give man sufferings? No is the unequivocal answer. The Word of God is emphatic: "For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope."(Jer 29:11)

God makes clear - those things that ail, torment and destroy man - His image, are not according to God's script. On the contrary, God wishes man to have hope and welfare. If so, why do people suffer? The Bible calls these, curses. God only blesses; He does not curse. "If you heed these ordinances, by diligently observing them, the Lord your God will maintain with you the covenant loyalty that he swore to your ancestors; he will love you, bless you, and multiply you; he will bless the fruit of your womb and the fruit of your ground, your grain and your wine and your oil, the increase of your cattle and the issue of your flock, in the land he swore to your ancestors to give you. You shall be the most blessed of peoples, with neither sterility nor barrenness among you or your livestock."(Deu7:12- 15).These are God's promises which encompass the worldly as well. Sterility, sickness and economic depression are not from God.

Curses are the satanic interventions which inhibit a person from enjoying the blessings of God. A sin is a personal doing and if a person dies without genuine repentance then that sin becomes a curse on his/her children. Sins of parents fall on children as curse and not as sin. "Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us - for it is written, "Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree" (Gal3:13).It is because of the existence of curse that Christ became cursed; He redeemed us from the curse of the law. Law is God's law. They are His commandments revealed to us through the Word of God. Therefore, every Word of God is a commandment. One should not think that the Ten Commandments alone are God's laws. Every Word of God given to us is a Commandment of God. Curse of law are curses that came through law. Since law consists of God's commandments and every Word of God, curses come from the Word of God. How do curses come from the Word of God? Curses originate from the sin caused by disobedience to the Word of God. If one man's violation of law is sin for him, it becomes a curse on his children. It was from this curse that Christ redeemed us.

Some allege that proclamation on 'curse' is a trap to snare the innocents. In fact, it is the converse that is true; i.e., proclamation on the non existence of 'curse' is to take an 'ostrich-like attitude'. It amounts to avoiding our responsibility. The very acknowledgement of the existence of curse contains the seeds of a solution; rejection leads to the highway to damnation.

To negate the existence of curse some people take recourse to the Word of God itself especially John 9:1 onwards. When Jesus opened the eyes of a blind boy, his disciples asked: "Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents that he was born blind?" Jesus answered, "Neither this man nor his parents sinned; he was born blind so that God's works might be revealed in him"(Jn 9:2-3).Since Jesus asserted that it was not due to his or his parents' sin that he became blind, the argument that 'children would be punished for parents' sin' is false. Those who argue on the basis of this episode may bear in mind that Jesus healed other blind, deaf and dumb by casting out evil spirits from them. For instance: "Then they brought to him a demoniac who was blind and mute; and he cured him, so that the one who had been mute could speak and see"(Mat12:22).Another instance: "After they had gone away, a demoniac who was mute was brought to him. And when the demon had been cast out, the one who had been mute spoke; and the crowds were amazed and said, "Never has anything like this been seen in Israel"(Mat9:32-33).These two incidents testify that Jesus healed them by casting out evil spirits. Then why do dead/evil spirits possess a person? These two people must have been possessed by evil spirits from birth. Take another episode. In Mark 9:14-29 Jesus heals an epileptic boy. The boy's father said that he has been possessed by a dumb spirit from childhood. It has dashed him many times to water and fire to destroy him. "And they brought the boy to him. When the spirit saw him, immediately it convulsed the boy, and he fell on the ground and rolled about, foaming at the mouth (Mark: 9:20). "When Jesus saw a crowd running together, he rebuked the unclean spirit ,saying to it, you spirit that keeps the boy from speaking and hearing, I command you ,come out of him, and never enter him again! After crying and convulsing him terribly, it came out, and the boy was like a corpse, so that most of them said, "He is dead."(Mark 9:25-26).

Why did an evil spirit possess the boy at childhood? Usually an evil spirit possesses a person for two reasons: 1.person's sin, and 2.sins of the ancestors. A person becomes possessed on these counts only. If evil spirits could possess anybody then the whole of humanity would have been possessed. While some people are possessed by evil spirits, others in the same position are not. But this is not due to anybody's merit. It is the ignorance to discern evil spirits from demons that some tend to assert that children would not be punished for the sins of the ancestors. Evil spirits are the souls of those who died in sin, living under the slavery/hegemony of the devil and Satan, the ancient dragon. However, demons are the fallen angels. A perception on this could be obtained from a careful reading of the Bible. On how the souls of the dead become evil spirits, I shall write later. In the Book of Lamentations, it is written: "Our ancestors sinned; they are no more, and we bear their iniquities." (Lam: 4:7). Yes, the Word of God says that children bear the iniquities of the ancestors who have sinned. 'Slaves rule over us' means that slave souls -evil spirits rule over us. This is particularly true in this generation. The biblical tradition is that the devil/Satan is behind man's every suffering. He works using evil souls who are capable of influencing all and possessing some. Evil spirits are behind hereditary diseases, family problems, suicide, mental disorders, epilepsy, various physical ailments, paralysis, adultery, alcoholism, murder, hatred, homosexuality, riots, natural disasters and many others. Evil souls are the media through which curses are transmitted down the generations. Heredity influences the birth of morons and disabled children. The influence of evil spirits behind chronic abortions has been recognised. However, after undergoing 'binding prayers' many such victims of abortion have given birth, instances of and witnesses to such cases are many.

The father of the epileptic boy reported that he has been possessed by a soul. It was an evil spirit - an epileptic, deaf and dumb soul in the ancestry of the boy. This is curse. Ancestors, who died in sin, remaining unredeemed, become slaves of Satan. Through blood relations, genes and ancestry, they influence children and subsequent generations. This is the real curse.

98-04 "Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us" (Gal 3:13).Many assert that there is no curse at all because Jesus Christ died for us. This is untenable. Unless each individual personally experiences the salvation that Jesus Christ grants, no one can claim freedom from sin or curse. There is no greater travesty of truth than to argue that there is salvation for all since Jesus Christ died for us on the cross. The salvation that Jesus grants us is personal. To personalize it, one has to believe in Him and repent over sins. "Those who believe in Him are not condemned; but those who do not believe are condemned already, because they have not believed in the name of the only Son of God" (Jn 3:18). Thus, faith is the core of salvation. If so how can one experience freedom when the ancestors who are the cause of curse remain under the slavery of the devil? One can get absolution from sin on repentance. However, to free one from curse, ancestors whose sins have caused the curse have to be redeemed. Tearful prayers, abstinence and charity are the remedy. Our deliverance depends on their freedom. Can one be free from curse without absolution from sin? No! First, I have to free myself from my sin. Second, I have to liberate my ancestors through my prayers. That is how curses are banished. When I tread God's ways, no curse shall befall me.

False teachings on curses originate from a wrong perception of Ezek 18:1 and Jer 31:29. "What do you mean by repeating this proverb concerning the land of Israel, "The parents have eaten sour grapes, and the children's teeth are set on edge"? (Ezek 18:2). "In those days they shall no longer say: "The parents have eaten sour grapes, and the children's teeth are set on edge."But all shall die for their own sins; the teeth of everyone who eats sour grapes shall be set on edge" (Jer 31:29-30).

Why is it that the teeth of children are not set on edge even though their parents ate sour grapes? To put it bluntly, why are children not punished for the sins of the ancestors? Answer to this is obtained in a subsequent Word of God. "Yet you say, "Why should not the son suffer for the iniquity of the father? When the son has done what is lawful and right, and has been careful to observe all my statutes, he shall surely live."(Ezek 18:19)The Word of God is very clear: no one who obeys His commandments and keeps the Word of God would be punished. Curses would not proceed from them. However, for those who disobey the commandments and violate the Word of God, it will be a cause for their condemnation, and damnation of their subsequent generations.

The sin of Adam, has it not befallen earth as a curse? (Gen 3:17).Has not the sin of Cain also befallen earth as a curse? (Gen 4:11).God told Cain: "And now you are cursed from the ground, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother's blood from your hand. When you till the ground, it will no longer yield to you its strength; you will be a fugitive and wanderer on the earth."(Gen 4:11- 12).Cursed became Cain, his subsequent generations and earth, and it was due to the sin of Adam. Curse on the earth is the cause of misery of man. Heed Jesus Himself: "So that upon you may come all the righteous bloodshed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah son of Barachiah, whom you murdered between the sanctuary and the altar."(Mat 23:35).You and I are not personally responsible for the blood of either Abel or prophets. Yet their blood befalls us because 'children would be punished for the sins of the ancestors.' Let us strive for the redemption of the ancestors in earnest and be not an ostrich.

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