Chapter 9: How The Bastard Curse Affects The Church Today

Breaking the Authority of the Bastard Curse

Restoring the Congregation of the Lord

By Carl L. Fox and Paul D. Norcross

How The Bastard Curse Affects The Church Today

So far in the previous chapters we have seen that the bastard curse was used by satan with major impact to try to thwart the purposes of God. The purpose of God is to restore fellowship and intimacy with His people. The Father longs for children to love and bring near to Him for all eternity. Part of a loving father’s joy is in training his children. How those children respond to that training is a clear indicator of the stock from which they came.

Hebrews 12:5-13
And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him:

For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.

If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?

But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.

Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?

For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness.

Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.

Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees;

And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed.

Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:

Notice in the above verses that those who are willing to be chastised by the Lord are legitimate sons. They yield the peaceable fruit of righteousness in their lives. Those who do not submit to the chastening of the Lord are called bastards. Their fruit is radically different.

One of the hallmark characteristics of those who have the curse of the bastard in their bloodline is noted in verse 8, they refuse chastisement. They are unteachable, uncorrectable, uncoachable. They rebel when confronted with correction by anyone exercising legitimate, Godly spiritual authority such as a pastor, a husband, or a parent. A person affected by the bastard curse is unwilling to be governed by the Spirit of God. This shows up in their inability to have close fellowship with both the Lord and with fellow believers. Instead, they are often attracted to laws and legalism. They become hardened and easily estranged from fellow Christians, quickly offended, and unwilling to change focus from themselves and are consumed with the same.

Jesus used the analogy of a goat to indicate a person who was rebellious. Let’s look at how He taught the difference between sheep who hear the voice of their Master and are obedient, as opposed to goats who are always rebellious, and disobedient. This has enormous implications for the church today. Remember, the bastard curse is at the root of rebellion, like goats display.

Matthew 25:31-39
When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:

And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:

And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.

Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:

For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:

Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.

Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?

When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?

Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?

The difference between the sheep and the goats is very clear. The goat is into the self: self-interest, self-gratification, self-focus. The sheep, on the other hand, are full of compassion. They see the thirsty, the naked, the hungry. They are not self-focused. Instead they look to help others. When they help, they even forget that they have helped, and they expect nothing in return. While the goat is quick to say, “Look what I did!,” a sheep is content to seek neither reputation nor recognition.

Goats in the church call attention to anything good that they do, and quickly forget the evils they do. They also quickly forget the good things that others do for them. This makes it very easy for them to say, when a sheep has a need, “Oh, we’ll always have hungry people around us,” or, “If those nations only used birth control, we wouldn’t have to deal with so many children.” Or, “If you think they need help, then you go help them, I don’t want to hear about it.”

You see, goats are by nature rebellious. In a pasture, for example, goats always try to test the fence to see if they can get out. And when they do, they always lead sheep behind them. This is because sheep are naturally trusting, and willingly follow those who seem to know what they are talking about. Sheep are not very discerning. So they will follow goats, even to their own peril. This is why it is so important to have good shepherds over the flock. Moses knew this when he asked God for a good shepherd to replace him:

Numbers 27:15-17
And Moses spake unto the LORD, saying,

Let the LORD, the God of the spirits of all flesh, set a man over the congregation,

Which may go out before them, and which may go in before them, and which may lead them out, and which may bring them in; that the congregation of the LORD be not as sheep which have no shepherd.

In the Old Testament, goats and sheep were also sacrificial animals. For example, in Leviticus, we see that goats were used for the sin offering. In the following example, they were called scapegoats.

Leviticus 16:5-10, 15
And he shall take of the congregation of the children of Israel two kids of the goats for a sin offering, and one ram for a burnt offering.

And Aaron shall offer his bullock of the sin offering, which is for himself, and make an atonement for himself, and for his house.

And he shall take the two goats, and present them before the LORD at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation.

And Aaron shall cast lots upon the two goats; one lot for the LORD, and the other lot for the scapegoat.

And Aaron shall bring the goat upon which the LORD’S lot fell, and offer him for a sin offering.

But the goat, on which the lot fell to be the scapegoat, shall be presented alive before the LORD, to make an atonement with him, and to let him go for a scapegoat into the wilderness.

Then shall he kill the goat of the sin offering, that is for the people, and bring his blood within the vail, and do with that blood as he did with the blood of the bullock, and sprinkle it upon the mercy seat, and before the mercy seat:

Thus we can see how vital the goat was to the children of Israel. The goat sacrifice was for the spiritual protection and blessing of Israel. It is interesting that today, the goat is used as a figure to describe the rebellious, unloving person who pastures in the same fields as the Godly sheep. Those trusting sheep even follow the behavior of the ungodly, rebellious goats.

In verse 32 of Matthew 25,38 Jesus mentions how the shepherd must separate the sheep from the goats. The sheep are going to inherit the kingdom. Why? Because sheep do sheep things. When someone is hungry, they feed them, when thirsty they give them water to drink, they clothe the stranger, they visit those in prison. As they do those things with compassion. It is tantamount to having helped Jesus Himself in His need.

Jesus often referred to sheep in describing His ministry. In Matthew 15 he tells to whom His ministry was directed.

Matthew 15:24
But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.

Jesus was sent to the lost sheep of Israel. Israel had been scattered by the bastard curse. The records of Israel’s rebellion from God, as a result of their unwillingness to receive chastisement from the Lord, are numerous throughout the Scriptures. The result of such rebellion is the scattering of the sheep. There were lost sheep all over the place, and the Pharisees and established religious leaders left them to remain lost. Here’s how this scattering happens.

Under the influence of the bastard curse, people are unwilling to receive Godly correction.39 Under the Old Testament law, the rebellious would not be allowed to come into the congregation of the Lord. In comparison to today, those who labor under the bastard curse, exhibiting unwillingness to receive Godly correction, often become offended, and leave the congregation. Why are they unable to come into the congregation today? They can’t get along!

But often, the opposite happens. A goat who is a leader in some capacity over the flock drives out the sheep. In a flock, goats are the animals with the most personality. They are the cutest, smartest, most talented, the most enthusiastic, and most aggressive compared to the sheep. They even show tendencies of leadership ability. Yet they remain unwilling to receive correction. But they remain in the flock and continue to lead the sheep away from the protection that they need.

For example, goats can drink from rushing water. Sheep cannot drink in such water because the abundance of wool around their necks becomes so quickly weighed down with water that they give up fighting and get carried away to drown. They have little stamina to resist even the smallest obstacles. Goats are even used in meat slaughterhouses today to lead the sheep directly into the chutes that begin the slaughtering process. The goats are nimble, able to jump away from death at the last moment. They are called “Judas” goats because they continually lead the sheep to their own deaths. These are some of the reasons why Jesus used the illustration of goats to describe people masquerading as sheep right in the middle of the congregation.

God made sheep to be followers. They need leadership. But what is so great about sheep, is that they are meek, coachable, and able to learn to hear the sound of their shepherd’s voice. They will follow no other when they have a good shepherd.

John 10:1-18

Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber.

But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep.

To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out.

And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice.

And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers.

This parable spake Jesus unto them: but they understood not what things they were which he spake unto them.

Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep.

All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them.

I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.

The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.

But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep.

The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep.

I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.

As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.

And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.

Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again.

No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.

The primary distinguishing characteristic of sheep is that they hear the voice of their shepherd and obey it. That shepherd is Jesus Christ. The primary distinguishing characteristic of a goat, is that they do not hear nor pay any attention to the voice of the Shepherd, and are therefore disobedient to it.

So far, we have referred to goats and sheep within a flock. But there is another common situation which can occur. Jesus said he was sent to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. In Matthew 18, we see the parable of the man who goes out to find the one lost sheep.

Matthew 18:12-14
How think ye? if a man have an hundred sheep, and one of them be gone astray, doth he not leave the ninety and nine, and goeth into the mountains, and seeketh that which is gone astray?

And if so be that he find it, verily I say unto you, he rejoiceth more of that sheep, than of the ninety and nine which went not astray.

Even so it is not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish.

What if the goat, the person exhibiting the rebellious behavior that is so typical of those who are under the bastard curse, is actually one of the leaders – a shepherd, or some other leader in the congregation, such as a worship team leader? After all, they have such talent and ability, personality and energy. In fact, they have everything except the ability to hear and obey their shepherd. But they are leaders among the flock nevertheless because of all their wonderful talents.

What happens to a flock under the care of such spiritually devious leadership as a goat? The sheep become scattered. This is the fruit of goats. This was precisely the situation in Jesus’ day. The sheep were scattered.

What about today? Let’s use an example. Much of Christianity today is rightfully growing in praise and worship, the kind God is pleased with. But, there is also a great deal of entertainment worship and praise that God is not at all pleased with. In some circles, entertaining praise and worship has become part of a formula for a “successful” church. Thousands of dollars are even spent on very expensive equipment that is surprisingly more related to secular entertainment stars than Biblically-based praise and worship; the kind that genuinely prepares the people to receive what God has for them. Remember, Jesus said that even the stones would cry out to worship Him.40 So entertaining praise and worship often fails to move the heart of God at all.

How does this relate to goats vs. sheep ministry? Goats are entertainers. They draw attention away from hearing and obeying their Shepherd, and place it on themselves. Is it surprising that the church today has a huge problem in this area? Shepherds and, for example, worship leaders, who lead God’s people away from a relationship with the Chief Shepherd, Jesus Christ, are most often goats. A common method for doing this is entertainment, excitement, false manifestations of the Holy Spirit on the one side, or rejection of the legitimate manifestations of the Holy Spirit on the other side. John chapter ten uses an even more interesting term. Verse one calls them thieves and robbers.41 Goats always have bad spiritual fruit. Sheep have good spiritual fruit.

How can churches get so caught up in building a church, going into debt, having to build the biggest and the best, and call it a Christian church? They may have started out with good intentions, but now the payments are due. The board has a meeting, and says, “We must cut costs.” Maybe they prayed, and maybe they didn’t. But they will say, “What are we spending money on that brings the least return? After all, we want to use good business sense.”

After investigating, they discover that the bussing program is 95% expense, and only five percent return. They determine that this is not good business. “These kids that we bus from the poor part of town, and which do not have fathers, or their families are doing drugs, haven’t even been taught how to behave in the church. They make noise, things get broken, they show little respect for the things that are important to us. And when the offering plate is passed, it is mostly pennies and nickels and dimes, and seldom even quarters. Let’s cut this out. It is not paying for itself.”

The board meeting continues. “Well, now we are making some progress, and we’ve saved some money. And it is quieter around here. Did you notice that some of those kids even stunk? Let’s see, where else can we save money? How about that missionary in Mexico? Those people aren’t even citizens of America. They need to take care of themselves. This is pure cost. Whose idea was this anyway? I make a motion that we drop this program. All in favor, say aye. Are there any opposed? We must be right, we all agreed.”

“How about that halfway house we’ve been helping? It’s not our fault those people are drunks. After all, someone else needs to help them. All in favor say, ‘aye.’ Look, we all agreed! This has to be right. We actually have saved more of God’s money than we have going out. So we not only are able to handle the new mortgage, but now we can buy new sound equipment and instruments of praise. I just know that then we can get some really professional praisers, and I’ve seen on Christian television where this big church said that that was a turning point for them. All in favor, say ‘aye.’ Wow, look! It’s unanimous! This has to be of the Lord.”

Unfortunately, these goat leaders forgot about Jesus, and about God’s Word. As they built their successful church, they forgot that in Matthew 16:18, Jesus said, “I will build My church.” Jesus did not build this one. So whose church is it? Could these decisions have been made by the goats Jesus said He will separate at the end of the age?


38 Matthew 25:32
And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:

39 Hebrews 12:7-8
If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?

But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.

40 Luke 19:37-40
And when he was come nigh, even now at the descent of the mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen;

Saying, Blessed be the King that cometh in the name of the Lord: peace in heaven, and glory in the highest.

And some of the Pharisees from among the multitude said unto him, Master, rebuke thy disciples.

And he answered and said unto them, I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out.

41 John 10:1
Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber.

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