One night I was teaching in a church that did not believe that people legitimately fall down under the power of the Holy Spirit. Now, I’m not into knocking people down when I pray for them, like I’ve seen some preachers do. In fact, I used to hold them up and would hurt my back doing so, just so they wouldn’t fall down. Since I don’t want to offend anybody, I’m always very careful with people when I pray for them. I just make sure it’s not a devil putting them down. The power is not in the manifestation of God’s Spirit; the power is in the name of Jesus.
As soon as I finished teaching, I asked for people to come to the front if they wanted prayer for anything. The girl almost ran up to us and so we prayed for her. Boom—she was on the floor! We couldn’t have held her up if we tried. So, I just put an angel with her and said, “Who’s next?” but nobody would come up for prayer, because in that particular group, if someone fell under the Spirit, they thought it was a devil. So I said, “That’s good. You’re giving me an easy day. Usually I have to go on for hours. Thank you. God bless you. Good-bye.”
I was taking my time to pack up everything. Then I said to them, “If it’s from God, the fruit will be good.” I kept packing up calmly and nobody was saying anything nor coming up for prayer. The retarded girl started to laugh. Her laughter was so contagious. It flowed from deep inside her, as though something was coming loose. Pretty soon, everybody was laughing, even a little five-month-old baby in its mother’s arms. There on the carpeted floor lay the young retarded woman, laughing her heart out for forty-five minutes!
The whole church began laughing with her. I said, “Is there anyone short of joy in this room, lacking the good fruit?” Everyone became free from their inhibitions and began to come up front for prayer. After the forty-five minutes she was down, when the retarded girl got up, she had a totally sound mind. The curses had been removed from her life.
You see, there’s no limit to what God can do! We limit God. I could see that she and God had something going on, so I was getting out of the way. I just left it alone. Did God curse her? What kind of curses did she have on her life?
CAUSES FOR CURSES FROM GOD
In this chapter, we are going to see different things that we do to bring curses directly from God. Yes, God does curse. It is not blasphemy to say that God curses. The problem is that we all know better than God. Look at what He says through the prophet.
(Malachi 2:2) If ye will not hear, and if ye will not lay it to heart, to give glory unto my name, saith the LORD of hosts, I will even send a curse upon you, and I will curse your blessings: yea, I have cursed them already, because ye do not lay it to heart.
One source of curses comes from unintentionally spoken words. God is not playing games with us. We can’t just play church. If we hear the word of the Lord and don’t obey it and give the glory to Him, every time we say, “God bless you,” we’re cursing someone. Think about it. What about someone you know that’s not honoring God with his life, but blesses you? You’d better watch out, he’s really cursing you according to Malachi 2:2. This is what can be called a clergy curse.
Did you know that clergymen could curse you? If you don’t believe the way they do, lots of times they get angry and tell you you’re listening to Satan rather than God. What about a preacher who is homosexual or who is an adulterer and officiates at a young couple’s wedding? He pronounces a “blessing” over the two, but God says that’s really a curse. Have you ever been cursed by a priest or by a preacher? If you have, be sure to forgive him or her, break off the curse, and ask God to fill you with blessings instead.
There’s also the case of those ministers who get puffed up with what they are doing and take for themselves the glory that God deserves. Those people are cursed by God.
This is the reason I don’t let a lot of people pray for me. First, we hear and then we take it to heart. Only then can we give God the glory. Another source of curses is not giving glory to God, substituting idols instead.
(Deuteronomy 27:15) Cursed be the man that maketh any graven or molten image, an abomination unto the LORD, the work of the hands of the craftsman, and putteth it in a secret place. And all the people shall answer and say, Amen.
I used to live around cursed statues in New Mexico. In the 1540’s, the Roman Catholic Church came right up to where my house was. The street we lived on was part of the old Camino Real, the oldest street in America. White men settled New Mexico long before either coast. They came up to plunder and to take the riches, and they brought in many graven images. Of course, the Indians already had a lot of them, so they just mixed them up and had image stew.
Idols are not necessarily just little statues. A person’s job could be your idol. A person could be saying, “I’m not going to change. I’m going to stay the way I am.” Property could be an idol. It could be all kinds of things. False gods will definitely bring curses into one’s life. When the Bible says, “Do something,” people need to do it even if they don’t feel like it. God can start changing their heart.
I love the United States of America and its flag, but our allegiance has to be with God and not with a symbol. I believe that the American flag has become an idol. It is an image that is worshipped by many people in the United States. This is idolatry. The pledge of allegiance the children say every day in school is idolatry. They pledge their allegiance to a flag, as well as to the country. I’m sorry, but my only allegiance is to the Lord God Almighty and I don’t believe in singing songs to a flag and making pledges to it. Why? Because God says, we’re not to have images. Do you know how the pledge to the flag was put into the public schools? A phrase was added just to keep the Christians happy, “one nation under God.” That phrase was not in the original version. As a concession they put that in, but then prayer was prohibited a few years later.
Many people call the work of the hands of a craftsman, “art,” and we justify keeping our idols this way. What we call art is really graven images and these defile our homes and churches. We will discuss more in a later chapter about cursed objects.
(Deuteronomy 27:16) Cursed be he that setteth light by his father or his mother. And all the people shall say, Amen.
The Word of God says to treat your parents with respect. It says, “Honor your father and mother,” in Ephesians 6, and if you’re not doing so, you are cursed. I don’t care how bad your parents may or may not have been; the Bible says, “Honor them.” It’s not your business to judge your parents. You are to respect them. Not giving them respect is a cause for being cursed by God.
We’re living in a generation that is so cursed. One reason wahy is that, parents of this generation have removed themselves so far from God and the things of God. Parents have not prayed and given thanks over meals. They have not eaten together as a family, prayed together, or strived to do what is right. They have let the television baby-sit our children. Because they have not taught their children about sex, and what’s right and honorable, the schools took on this job. The public school has not taught abstinence but has taught birth control and “safe sex.” Many times the parents do not have the right to know that their daughters are having an abortion. The spiritual reason for such actions by the schools is because parents failed to do the things of God. They lost their rights as parents. The parents are not right all the time, but the children need to honor their parents anyway.
Do you know what our children are being taught in public schools, moms, and dads? Some people at the church I was pastoring were all upset one day. They brought me a quiz paper from their fourth grade child. One of the questions on the quiz was, “What does your father think of homosexuality?” That little child, by obeying the teacher and telling the truth, saying that his dad did not like it, got cursed. The child’s family values were recorded. You see, ungodly governments want to make Christianity illegal.
I would hope that Christians are bold enough in their communities to be fully identifiable even without having to question anybody! I hope there’s enough evidence against you that you’ll get arrested, because Jesus will still get you out. You’ll have earthquakes in the prison, if necessary, to get you free. Parents, if you’re not teaching your children to respect their parents, you’re setting your kids up to be cursed and the generations following. Get serious! This does not point kindly at America.
(Deuteronomy 27:17) Cursed be he that removeth his neighbour’s landmark. And all the people shall say, Amen.
Removing boundary markers is cheating, stealing, and robbing. Israelite landmarks consisted of piles of stones at each corner of their land to show it was theirs. If the neighbor was gone for a while, you could move the stones a few feet to gain a few feet, but you’d be cursed for it. That is stealing someone’s land. In that day and time, it was a big issue because this was an inheritance from God.
Even now, it still is a big deal to cheat and steal. Some say, “Oh, well, they won’t know the difference.” Someone accidentally gives you five dollars too much change. I’ll guarantee you, you’ll be blessed if you are honest and take the five dollars back. How about just lying about somebody to get a job promotion because you’re next in line? These are the kinds of offenses that bring curses from God.
In 1967, Israel went to war. God restored back the land to Israel through many awesome miracles. Israel was totally outnumbered and outgunned, outclassed and disadvantaged. God gave them a great victory in six days and restored all the land that had been withheld from them. Yet, now, in 1999, they are negotiating to give it back to the enemy. I believe that this is “removing their neighbor’s landmark.” Through this, Israel and all nations involved in this, are setting themselves up to be cursed by God.
(Deuteronomy 27:18) Cursed be he that maketh the blind to wander out of the way. And all the people shall say, Amen.
We’d better never get in the way of a disadvantaged person or of a child when they are looking for God. This is a serious offense and brings curses directly from God. God has a special tender place in His heart for the disabled and the very young, and He blesses those who bless them and curses those who curse them. When I was a kid, we had “harelip jokes” about people who were born with cleft palates and couldn’t pronounce their words clearly. We laughed at them. We were cursing ourselves. How do you think those poor people with harelips felt?
Deuteronomy 27:18 is talking about the blind people who are used to walking, and they know how many steps to take. But someone moves an object over so they fall and everybody laughs. This verse includes the idea of not wanting to have anything to do with someone because they are strange, they quiver, and they twitch due to physical impairments. Don’t have anything to do with such people who mock and deride those people who are less fortunate. Go ahead and take the curse. In fact, you are blessed if you take in the undesirables.
Guess where Jesus would go? Do you think he would go where there were plush red carpets and leather seats? He’d pass that right by if the love of God were not there. He’d go right down to Joe’s Bar and Grill. That’s where he was needed. He could go down and get those people out of there. He’d go down to the insane asylum. That’s one reason why I believe Jesus was blessed. I believe Jesus was always blessed for doing the will of his Father, and Jesus did not cause the blind to wander out of the way. He healed them.
(Deuteronomy 27:19) Cursed be he that perverteth the judgment of the stranger, fatherless, and widow. And all the people shall say, Amen.
One time I saw a policeman run through a red light and hit a car, then turn on his light. Someone came over and told him, “Well, the light really was green for you.” He had turned on his light so it would look like he had come for the emergency, and the man who was innocent would get blamed for it. I ran right over there and I said, “I saw what happened,” because the policeman went through the red light. If it had been the other way around, I would have done the same thing, because I do not believe in manipulation and lying, and I don’t want to be cursed.
Turning your back on people with needs is probably the most common way of perverting judgment. Regarding the man who sits on the corner and asks for money, people say, “They bring him here in the morning before the sun comes up in a Mercedes! He does not really need help!” Have you ever heard that kind of statement? When you see a poor person begging, why not ask the Lord whether you should help him. I lived in the Sun Belt, where there are a lot of people who beg. Some of them deserve to be there and some of them probably even deserve to be imprisoned for being rapists and murderers on the run. But I’m not the judge. If the Lord tells me to help them, and I don’t obey right away, then I have to turn around and drive back. Sometimes I probably don’t hear Him, but people are needy and we do have to help.
(Deuteronomy 27:20) Cursed be he that lieth with his father’s wife; because he uncovereth his father’s skirt. And all the people shall say, Amen.
This is incest. It might not necessarily be the mother. It could be the step-mom, but it’s still incest. Incest will bring curses every time, and they’ll go on for generations and generations. I know, because recently the Lord directed me to remove a curse in the name of Jesus that had been there from eighteen generations before, when there had been incest. This is really bad stuff! It’s no wonder the devil wants to get people to do it!
(Deuteronomy 27:21) Cursed be he that lieth with any manner of beast. And all the people shall say, Amen.
Did you know that people involved in black magic are having sex with the animals? Then they sacrifice the animal and after identifying where the Christians live, they take the blood and wipe it on their mailboxes to curse their communication. I’ve had people call up and ask me, “What are we going to do about it?” First of all, just wash it off with soap and water and then anoint it with oil and pray. The enemy is very sincere. Do you know what? You can’t afford to hang around with fornication, adultery, and pornography anymore. Because the devil is going right down real soon and you could go down with him. He’s not your friend. He wants you dead.
(Deuteronomy 27:22) Cursed be he that lieth with his sister, the daughter of his father, or the daughter of his mother. And all the people shall say, Amen.
Here again is incest. What we do in our society is to say, “Well, we’ll just abort the fetus.” That brings a curse of innocent blood. This is serious stuff. This brings curses from God Himself.
(Deuteronomy 27:23) Cursed be he that lieth with his mother in law. And all the people shall say, Amen.
Most guys can’t get along with their mother-in-law, but doing this (having sex with her) is incest.
(Deuteronomy 27:24) Cursed be he that smiteth his neighbour secretly. And all the people shall say, Amen.
This verse refers to hitting, striking, causing harm or any kind of grief in secret. You’re not to set things up to cause your neighbor harm. Who are your neighbors? The people around you are your neighbors. They are the people that you have the best opportunity to bless and to introduce to the Lord Jesus Christ.
This also refers to taking advantage of your neighbor (like the case of moving his landmark), and includes all kinds of deceitful things. Just manipulating and taking advantage of your neighbor brings a curse on you. One of the things that I see happens sometimes to people who open their homes to meet for Bible study and prayer is that rumors are spread around the neighborhood to defame them. The people who do it are actually cursing themselves. A caution to those of you who open your house up for worship and those of you who attend: make sure you pray for protection on those homes. The devil is serious, but then, so are we!
(Deuteronomy 27:25) Cursed be he that taketh reward to slay an innocent person. And all the people shall say, Amen.
Of course, this is talking about hit men, paid assassins. It’s not just the Mafia types that are doing it now. We’ve seen kids do it for others who want to get rid of their parents, or as rites of passage into satanic cults. They are in big trouble, not just with the law but with God also.
This verse also includes taking a bribe to condemn someone with his or her testimony. “Yes, I’ll lie in court. I’ll say that he didn’t have any brake lights” when somebody rear-ends somebody. That kind of thing is going to bring curses. And the sad thing about curses is that they don’t stop with you, unless you don’t have any generations to follow you. Also, not having any generations to follow you is a curse.
(Deuteronomy 27:26) Cursed be he that confirmeth not all the words of this law to do them. And all the people shall say, Amen.
The purpose of the law was to keep people from going under curses. Grace is given for the same reason. It’s not an excuse to do evil. Do you know what the answer of the law was if you did something that brought a curse? Death. Then you didn’t have any generations to follow. See, Jesus hadn’t been hung on the tree yet. The answer to getting rid of a curse now is death too, but it is the death of Jesus. He paid an awful debt and He didn’t deserve it. He didn’t deserve it at all and He did it so you and I could have our lives cleaned up and we could be thankful. The bottom line is still that the only difference between you and the people back in Deuteronomy is that you are bought by the blood of Jesus. It took His blood spilling to overcome sin. It was Jesus’ blood, not the blood of bulls and goats, like in the Old Testament! Now you think about that!
I do not promote making people afraid of being left behind (when Jesus comes again for his people) and all these things, to keep them from sinning. I promote what I believe God would have me to promote, and that is that your love relationship with God and Jesus be so great that your reason for not sinning is not because of the consequences. How about if your reason for not sinning is because you hate sin? Is not that more powerful than being afraid of the consequences of sin? The more we love God, the more we will hate sin.
This doctrine of being afraid of the consequences of sin is a near hit. Have you ever been hunting and lost the animal because of a near hit, in which you hit a stump or just wounded the animal or something like that? It should be a bull’s eye! That’s what God wants, for you to be on target. And on target is that we quit sinning because our love for the Lord is so great that we hate sin! We should see sin as mocking Jesus who gave it all. That’s how we can live free from curses.
CURSED BY TRUSTING IN MAN
(Jeremiah 17:5) Thus saith the LORD; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the LORD.
This verse is one that controlling governments do not like. They want us to depend on the government and its programs. I am not a political guy. Nor am I either Republican or Democrat. I am a monarchist. I have a King whose name is Jesus, and that’s what motivates me. It’s not the politics, the handout I can get, and the freebies. Some people think they need it, but they don’t need it. They’ve been caught in a trap!
Our whole governmental system is set up for us to depend on man. The whole system is set up so that people will be cursed! Isn’t that something? From the womb to the tomb, our government wants to take care of us. I don’t trust them: I trust in the Lord! The Bible says:
(Proverbs 3:5, 6) Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Lean not on your own understanding;
In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths.
People are always going around saying, “I don’t know what to do!” One reason is because they don’t trust the Lord.
Socialistic programs and handouts make you cursed! I was not the one to say it—I just finished reading it! The Lord said it! We need to be at the point where our dependency is on the Lord Jesus Christ, so that when we come together as in a church building, then we have power. That way, when someone comes in sick, they leave well. We in the church, the Body of Christ, have let ourselves become cursed because we’ve trusted in man. We say, “The pastor gets a salary. Let him do it,” or, “I’m not an evangelist; I don’t have to witness!” Where is that in the Bible? It must be one of those new versions. You know, the pastor needs your help.
I believe there are many pastors who could go out in the world and be a great success because they are very talented and capable men. I know that every pastor desperately (unfortunately, I have to say “desperately”) needs people who are willing to get the job done, to pitch in and do. Praise God, I see a lot of healthy things in some churches, and one of them is the involvement of the people. This is a powerful thing. That’s what you need to do and quit trusting in man.
(Jeremiah 17:7-8) Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is.
For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit.
I used to live in desert country, and would see trees that were all nice and green on the Rio Grande. They never had to be watered, or anything. They were taken care of. That is how God takes care of us if we obey His word.
Christians should be like that tree planted by the water. We don’t have to worry about who is elected or who is not elected, or any of these things. We need to be spreading out our roots by the river, that regardless what drought comes, our roots are right down there in the aquifer! We are watered by the Holy Spirit. That’s where Christians should be, regardless of where we live. That’s where the Lord wants us to be and if we’re not there, then we’re missing something.
The prophet Zechariah was given a vision to show us another curse from God.
(Zechariah 5:1-4) Then I turned, and lifted up mine eyes, and looked, and behold a flying roll.
And he said unto me, What seest thou? And I answered, I see a flying roll; the length thereof is twenty cubits, and the breadth thereof ten cubits.
Then said he unto me, This is the curse that goeth forth over the face of the whole earth: for every one that stealeth shall be cut off as on this side according to it; and every one that sweareth shall be cut off as on that side according to it.
I will bring it forth, saith the LORD of hosts, and it shall enter into the house of the thief, and into the house of him that sweareth falsely by my name: and it shall remain in the midst of his house, and shall consume it with the timber thereof and the stones thereof.
God speaks to this prophet thousands of years ago and what He says is still true. Those who steal, those who swear an oath, those who give false testimony after swearing in court on a Bible, all these people are cursed. This curse goes into their house, their family, and there it remains. In the old days, the house meant all the family and their descendents, such as in “the house of Israel,” or “the house of Jacob.” What’s it talking about? That’s talking about generations, is it not? And these are curses coming from God! Don’t you think it was a curse that people didn’t get on the boat in Noah’s time? All over the face of the earth, people were doing these things. gs. gs. gs. gs.
Don’t think that just because this curse was given thousands of years ago, you can say, “Oh, but now we’re under God’s grace.” Then we trust grace so we can go out and sin and use it as an excuse. Later, we “cry in our beer” because of all the grief we have in our life.
If you get rid of the things that cause the grief, you can be delivered. We have seen hundreds of people delivered of all kinds of things, cancer, business failure, broken marriages, blind eyes—I can’t possibly remember them all. The wages of sin is death. We need to sharpen up on what causes curses. Just because this is the grace administration, we just can’t do whatever we please. Stealing and lying and perjuring bring curses.
CURSES FROM MEN ON GOD’S BEHALF
Let’s talk about curses from men on God’s behalf. Do you know why people kill prophets? Because the prophets say, “change or die,” and people get mad. Praise God that they come and warn you! Sometimes as a prophet, you have to speak a message from God that people don’t always want to hear. From Joshua 6, I’m going to show you a curse brought by a man of God. He spoke it on God’s behalf.
(Joshua 6:26) And Joshua adjured them at that time, saying, Cursed be the man before the LORD, that riseth up and buildeth this city Jericho: he shall lay the foundation thereof in his firstborn, and in his youngest son shall he set up the gates of it.
The city of Jericho was the next obstacle they had to confront after crossing the flooded Jordan into the Promised Land. It was a city so powerful that with most of our weapons we have today we still couldn’t get in. The wall around the city was built at a sharp angle; historians claim it was about 60 feet high and 40 feet wide. It was wide at the bottom and narrowed towards the top. If you were to hit it with a tank, the tank would roll over. There was nothing you could do; it was a sharp enough grade. It had a wall that was impossible to climb, but the amazing thing about it was that above, on top of the wall was a freeway going around it. It was forty feet wide all the way around that city! If you sent all your troops in on the North side to take it, they could move all their troops and get them there before you could bring down the wall. They could rush their army, including chariots, to any part of the wall where the attack came from. They would bring in hot oil, or anything else they needed, to dump over the side onto the aggressor. It was solid wall. They didn’t have cannon balls in those days, but if they had, they would have just ricocheted off the walls. There was absolutely no way that Jericho could be destroyed. There was no way they could break down the walls.
And yet, do you know what brought these defenses down? God! He did it in a way that proved that only He could do it! The Israelites obeyed God and marched around for seven days. And on the last day, they blasted their trumpets and shouted praises to the Lord and the walls came tumbling down. Do you know why we always have praise time at the beginning of any of our meetings? It’s because praise brings down the walls. The Israelites obeyed and praised and brought down the entire city wall. They destroyed that city, the total city, except for the house of Rahab and her family. Everything else was destroyed by praise. Those of you who are prayer warriors and intercessors and are getting beat up and worn out, spend a little more time praising. Your intercession time will be shorter. It’s a powerful thing!
God did a mighty act and it was to be an example. He had finally brought his people into the Promised Land and He wanted that heap of rubble in Jericho to remind the people who was Boss. Was it good real estate? You bet! It had the view; it had fresh water and everything that a developer would want. It was prime real estate! But Joshua went and told them, “Don’t develop this property because if you do, if you lay the foundation down, your firstborn is going to die.”
In that culture, to lose your firstborn son was a serious thing, and this prophecy added that they would also lose their youngest son when they put on the gates.
(1 Kings 16:34) In his days did Hiel the Bethelite build Jericho: he laid the foundation thereof in Abiram his firstborn, and set up the gates thereof in his youngest son Segub, according to the word of the LORD, which he spake by Joshua the son of Nun.
One day a man called Hiel decided to rebuild Jericho in direct disobedience to Joshua’s prophecy. This man’s pride and disobedience to the word of God caused him to lose his oldest son. It was a curse to lose your oldest son, your inheritor. Hiel should at least have been smart enough to stop his project once he laid the foundation and lost his firstborn. You’d think that he would have called the general contractor and said, “Hey, listen, we’re going to have to stop building right now.”
The curse happened and it happened from disobedience. “Oh, but God is love; He would never do that.” Oh, yeah? How do you explain this, folks? We have an awesome God. He does not go for mockery! When I think about Elijah, who went to the leadership of his nation and said, “Change or else,” they didn’t, so they went into a drought that destroyed them. When the Word of God speaks it is going to happen. It does not do us any good to disobey and say it can’t happen. It’s going to happen! And you can say, “Well, God is awfully hard.” But, do you know what? The ruins of Jericho are the greatest example to mankind of the power of God coming up against the greatness of man. That’s why God said not to rebuild it. But Hiel did it anyway and he was warned not to do it.
This is why we get into so much trouble. We’re going to do it in the way we want to do it and don’t listen to what anybody else has to say. After all, we say, “Hey, I’m a king, I’m a master builder. I have a license to build this city. And I’m the union contractor.” It didn’t do Hiel any good.
Hiel probably felt he was doing all right because his king was Ahab. “And Ahab did more to provoke the Lord God of Israel to anger than all the kings of Israel that were before him” (1 Kings 16:33). Ahab ended up getting his justice, too, as we see in the rest of this account in I Kings.
(1 Kings 17:1) And Elijah the Tishbite, who was of the inhabitants of Gilead, said unto Ahab, As the LORD God of Israel liveth, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word.
If Ahab had been meek to the man of God, the prophet, if he had been meek to what God had told him to do, this curse would not have happened. But the whole nation suffered because of this curse. For three years and six months, there was not a drop of rain, not even a sprinkle. People starved to death; the nation crumbled because they were an agricultural society. They couldn’t have C-130’s (transport airplanes) bring in food from other nations—they were in trouble! If Ahab had been meek, the curse would not have happened.
We have seen how disobedience causes curses to come from God. Because he is a just God, he cannot reward disobedience. But he causes blessings on our behalf when we obey.