Generational Curses and Freemasonry
In the last few decades, a new ministry has entered the Church that claims many of us need to be delivered from curses that are affecting our lives. These ministries keep very busy as there seems to be an ongoing need of breaking generational curses due to freemasonry and other sources. The main reason for this document is to help people know who they are in Christ and the freedom they have in Christ, and to remove all fear of curses by understanding the truth of what God tells us in his Word. John 8:32 GNB says, “You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
The current teaching of many Pentecostal churches and those in various other realms of Ministry concerning generational curses has its roots in the Old Testament Law of Moses, for it was in the giving of the law that these Principles were first set forth. An unclear passage of scripture is often used to support false teachings, because when many Christians are unsure of the meaning of a passage, they are less able to discern erroneous teaching based on the verses in question. This is surely the case for the contemporary teaching on generational curses. Many popular books published in the last few decades claim that Christians are subjected to unknown curses that have detrimental effects on their lives. The writers of these books offer their special knowledge, rather than Biblical that can break these supposed curses.
In this document, we will examine the Old Testament passages and look at the Biblical facts behind generational curses, their origin, some of the false teachings, what is a curse and what is not a curse, and whether curses are still happening today and what part freemasonry plays. By careful exegesis centering around the whole counsel of God, we will see that these passages do not support the idea that Christians are cursed because of the sins of their parents, grandparents, and great grandparents. Using scripture, we will also clearly show that these verses do not teach that demons have the right or ability to inhabit Christians because of generational curses or that Satan has the right to inflict curses upon Christians as a result of ancestral sins. On the contrary, Christians have the blessing of Abraham because of their relationship to Christ. It is hoped through reading this study Christians who have believed this contemporary teaching will be challenged into rethinking their views on this issue.
There is no doubt whatsoever that it is possible for there to be a negative effect on our lives from past generations. However, the form this effect takes, the extent that we are being told it happens, and the almost total assumption that everyone must have a curse that needs to be broken, are problems that will be addressed in this study. There is nothing worse than mistreating or even abusing Christians by telling them they are cursed when they are not. We are then simply doing the Devil’s work for him and creating a situation that for some has been unbearable.
I heard about a person who God led through cancer and brought her out the other side with a great testimony of Him. At a meeting, she was told categorically that the reason she had cancer was because her late husband was a freemason and the disease was the result of a generational curse. Absolutely devastated she phoned for advice. No account was taken of the fact that the Lord had healed her or that He had used her in this situation. The husband was a freemason and therefore there must be a curse as a result of the freemasonry. Cancer was it. Such advice is more like divination than Christian counselling. What spirit is behind this? I would go as far as to say that this kind of advice gives the enemy glory.
Martin Yarde who has been involved in this type of ministry regarding generational curses commented the following:
“This teaching can easily put people into bondage to those who claim to have the gifting or ‘anointing’ in this area. Like many similar teachings, it does in effect deny the sufficiency of the cross and can undermine a believer’s personal relationship with Jesus by making him more dependent on ‘professional’ deliverance ministers. In all this, there is a distinct lack of emphasis on the sovereignty of God. The implication is that unless the problem of generational curses is dealt with, you may miss out on God’s blessing in your life. This can lead to paranoia and endless seeking after ministry. Furthermore you can find no mention of it in the history of great revivals, when far higher numbers of people were saved and Christians seemed to end up living much more victorious lives than we do today. Those who minister… are involved in an activity of which the New Testament knows nothing.”
We must be very clear God is in charge. One of the dangers of this false teaching is that Christians are given the idea that life is a dualistic battle between them and the devil with God sitting on the sidelines, waiting to see if we get the right revelations, and make the right utterances to scare off the devil. If not, God simply lets the devil put curses on us because hundreds of years ago, unknown to us, pagan idolaters had done their thing on the property we own and faithfulness to God does not help in such a case. Likewise, if a great grandfather was a notorious sinner, we may be under an unknown generational curse, and the devil has every right to attack us, whether or not we are Christians. It is interesting that those who teach deliverance from curses quite often also push speaking with tongues as if it is the only spiritual gift and yet a real danger does exist here today.
This very sad view clearly gets us away from the central theme of the Old and New Testaments, which is our relationship with God. I for one am deeply grateful for the grace of God that brings salvation from the negative principles involved in this topic of spoken curses and generational curses. My Bible says everything we need for this life can be found in God’s Word, 2Timothy 3:16. If it cannot be found in the Word of God, then it is nothing we need to be concerned about.
What is the Meaning of the Word Curse?
The word curse evokes a variety of responses in different individuals. To many people, curses are the use of foul language or profanity. Others think of curses as nothing more than the stuff of fairy tales, with witches casting spells and turning handsome princes into ugly toads. Then there are some who see a demon behind every bush. They blame curses for every negative incident or problem they have ever encountered. At the other end of the spectrum are those who are so afraid of becoming curse conscious (putting overemphasis on them) that they become curse unconscious. And finally, there are those who will not even consider the possibility of curses. You can almost hear this person say, “curses are from the dark ages; we’re so much smarter today.” Because of the word curse being so often misused and misunderstood, I thought it would be good to start by looking at the dictionary and biblical meaning of the word curse.
There are two Dictionary definitions for the word “Curse” which are:
- A profane or obscene expression of anger.
- An appeal to a supernatural power for harm to come to a specific person or group, etc.
It is my understanding based on intensive research and looking for every occurrence of the word curse used in the Bible (nearly 200 KJV) that the first dictionary definition came about as a result of the second definition. People in early Old Testament times had a real fear of God’s curse coming upon them as God dealt harsh punishment to those who deserved it. This resulted in people using the words “I curse you” to people they were angry or hurt by to get retribution by putting fear into them, as people feared God’s wrath. People however cannot directly curse a Christian, as they do not have the supernatural power to do so. The curse can only come from God or Satan, and only Satan if God allows it. Consider the situation with Job in that Satan had to get permission from God before he could bring harm to Job’s family or belongings, Job 1:6-12.
Besides Job, the only other occurrence found involving curses by demonic means in the Bible was when Balak called on Balaam to curse the Israelites. Balaam, once a prophet of the true God, appears to have been one of the Moshelim (See Numbers 21:27) who had added to his poetic gift that of sorcery or divination. It was supposed that sorcerers had a power to curse persons by filling them with fear, terror, and dismay. Numbers 22:12 says, “And God said unto Balaam, Thou shalt not go with them; thou shalt not curse the people: for they are blessed.” And again, without God’s authority it was not possible for the demonic realm to curse God’s children. 1John 5:18 ISV says, “We know that the person who has been born from God does not go on sinning. Rather, the Son of God protects them, and the evil one cannot harm them.” Is this scripture clear enough? Jesus will protect us from the evil one and we can and should trust this promise.
This is what John Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible says in regards to Numbers 22:12: For they are blessed by the Lord himself, with an irrevocable blessing, and therefore it would be vain and fruitless, as well as dangerous for him to attempt to curse them. Genesis 12:3. The Son of God, who is so far from cursing his people, that he has delivered them from the curses of the law, being made a curse for them, that the blessings of the everlasting covenant of grace might come upon them; and they are blessed of God in him, and for his sake, with all spiritual blessings. The sense is, that it was impossible for him to curse those that God did not curse.
What did God promise Abraham, Blessings or curses? Abraham was blessed to the point that anybody who came against him was cursed by God. In Genesis 12:2-3 God promised Abraham, “I will bless you and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” Galatians 3:29 tells us that “if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” Praise God that if we love and obey Him, those same blessings of Abraham’s are also ours today. Anyone who attempts to pronounce a curse upon you will fail and will have to deal with God’s judgement.
The best Biblical definition I could find on the word curse was from the International Standard Bible Encyclopaedia (ISBE). The definition for curse is long and will take some perseverance to absorb, but it gives a necessary introduction on understanding the word curse. In the Old Testament, the (ISBE) gives three words translated as curse and in the New Testament just one for curse. As the words Imprecate and Imprecation are used a lot in the following section, here are their definitions.
IM’PRECATE, To invoke, as an evil on any one; to pray that a curse or calamity may fall on one’s self or on another person. From (Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary of American English)
Curse (taken from the International Standard Bible Encyclopaedia, ISBE) kurs (‘alah (Numbers 5:21, Numbers 5:23, Numbers 5:17, etc.), me’erah (Proverbs 3:33; Malachi 2:2, etc.), klalah (Genesis 27:12-13); katara (Galatians 3:10, Galatians 3:13): This word as noun and verb renders different Hebrew words, some of them being more or less synonymous, differing only in degree of strength. It is often used in contrast with “bless” or “blessing” (Deuteronomy 11:29). When a curse is pronounced against any person, we are not to understand this as a mere wish, however violent, that disaster should overtake the person in question, any more than we are to understand that a corresponding “blessing” conveys simply a wish that prosperity should be the lot of the person on whom the blessing is invoked. A curse was considered to possess an inherent power of carrying itself into effect. Prayer has been defined as a wish referred to God. Curses (or blessings) were imprecations referred to supernatural beings in whose existence and power to do good or inflict harm primitive man believed. The use of magic and spells of all kinds is based on the belief that it is possible to enlist the support of the superhuman beings with whom the universe abounds, and to persuade them to carry out the suppliant’s wishes. It has been suggested that spells were written on pieces of parchment and cast to the winds in the belief that they would find their way to their proper destination - that some demonic being would act as postman and deliver them at the proper address. In Zec (Zechariah 5:1-3) the “flying roll,” with curses inscribed on it “goeth forth over the face of the whole land.” It would find its way into the house of every thief and perjurer. But it was not always possible to commit curses to writing, it was enough to utter them aloud. Generally the name of some deity would be coupled with such imprecations, as Goliath cursed David by his gods (1 Samuel 17:43). Such curses once uttered possessed the power of self-realization. It was customary for heads of families in their declining years to bless their children, such a blessing being, not simply a paternal wish that their children should prosper in life, but a potent factor in determining their welfare (Genesis 9:25). In this case Jacob seeks his father’s blessing, which was more than his father’s good wishes for his future career. Such blessings and curses were independent of moral considerations. Before moral distinctions played any part in moulding theological conceptions it was not necessary, before a spell could be effectual, that the individual against whom the spell was pronounced should be deserving, on moral grounds, of the fate which was invoked on him.
It was sufficient that he should be the foe of the author of the curse. We may assume that such curses signalised the commencement of a battle. But in process of time such indiscriminate imprecations would not satisfy enlightened moral judgment. In the dramatic situation depicted in Deuteronomy (Deuteronomy 11:29; Deuteronomy 27:12 f) the curse was placed on Mt.Ebal and the blessing on Mt Gerizim. But the curse was the penalty for disobedience, as the blessing was the reward for obedience. The Book of Prov (Proverbs 26:2) summarily dismisses the traditional belief - “the curse that is causeless alighteth not.” “In the discourses of Jesus we find blessings and curses. They are however simply authoritative declarations of the eternal connection between right doing and happiness, wrong doing and misery” (Cheyne).
The term - and the thing signified - plays an important part in Paul’s interpretation of the cross. In the light of the law all men are guilty. There is no acquittal through appeal to a law that commands and never forgives - prohibits and never relents. The violator of the law is under a curse. His doom has been pronounced. Escape is impossible. But on the cross Jesus Christ endured the curse - for “cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree” (Galatians 3:10, Galatians 3:13) - and a curse that has overtaken its victim is a spent force…
The ISBE definition of curse just described says, “Prayer has been defined as a wish referred to God. Curses or (blessings) were imprecations referred to supernatural beings in whose existence and power to do good or inflict harm primitive man believed.”In other words, the pronouncing of curses by man was originally primitive superstition. This is not to say that a curse from God was primitive superstition, it was very real and in the form of punishment.
The ISBE also mentions the one instance in the Bible, 1 Samuel 17:43 where someone called on false gods to curse someone, which says, “And the Philistine said unto David, Am I a dog, that thou comest to me with staves? And the Philistine cursed David by his gods.” Did the curse come to pass? Not only did the curse not happen but also Goliath himself was killed. Shimei also cursed David without effect and was killed. 2 Samuel 16:5 and 1 King 2:44-46. It is not advisable or sensible or wise to try and curse God’s children. The result can be catastrophic as seen in Genesis 12:3 which says, “And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.”
Of the near 200 verses in the Bible making reference to the word curse, almost all regarding spoken curses by man were of one calling a curse on themselves by God if they broke an oath or were relying on God to curse the person they were cursing. James 5:12 GNB says in regards to making oaths “Above all, my friends, do not use an oath when you make a promise. Do not swear by heaven or by earth or by anything else. Say only “Yes” when you mean yes, and “No” when you mean no, and then you will not come under God’s judgment.” Job says in Job 31:30 that he had not sinned by wishing a curse upon his enemies or people intending him mischief. New Testament teaching makes it abundantly clear that the Lord does not want anyone, especially Christians, cursing themselves on oath or cursing anyone anymore. Paul said in Romans 12:14, “Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not.”
John Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible comments the following on Romans 12:14. And curse not: to have a mouth full of cursing and bitterness, Romans 3:14, is the character of an unregenerate man, and what by no means suits one who names the name of Christ; for blessing and cursing to proceed out of the same mouth, is as absurd and unnatural, as if it should be supposed that a fountain should send forth sweet water and bitter, or salt and fresh, James 3:10. The imprecations (spoken curses) upon wicked men, used by David and other good men, are not contradictions to this rule; since they were made under the inspiration of the Spirit of God, and were predictions of God’s vengeance, which in righteous judgment should fall on them, and are not to be drawn into an example by us.
The difference is that man cursing someone i.e., wishing harm to come upon them, is different from the curse of God which was punishment, or as stated above was God’s vengeance. The first intending ill wishes out of unjustifiable anger or bitterness through primitive man’s belief or perhaps even expecting God to carry through with their curse and the latter was a real curse from God. Imprecations upon evil people made by Godly men were spoken under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit and of course were carried out by God as mentioned above.
Albert Barnes’ Notes on the Bible on Romans 12:14 elaborates further on this: Bless, and curse not - Bless only; or continue to bless, however long or aggravated may be the injury. Do not be provoked to anger, or to cursing, by any injury, persecution, or reviling. This is one of the most severe and difficult duties of the Christian religion; and it is a duty which nothing else but religion will enable people to perform. To curse denotes properly to devote to destruction. Where there is power to do it, it implies the destruction of the object. Thus, the fig-tree that was cursed by the Saviour soon withered away: Mark 11:21. Thus, those whom God curses will be certainly destroyed; Matthew 25:41. Where there is not power to do it, to curse implies the invoking of the aid of God to devote to destruction. Hence, it means to imprecate; to implore a curse from God to rest on others; to pray that God would destroy them. In a larger sense still, it means to abuse by reproachful words; to calumniate; or to express oneself in a violent, profane, and outrageous manner. In this passage it seems to have special reference to this.
Biblically a curse from another person needs to be pronounced but the receiver has the chance to reject it and return a blessing on the person, obviously without effect, Romans 12:14. As stated in the ISBE above, primitive man believed that a curse would be passed on regardless to whether it was morally deserved. The Bible puts this belief to rest in Proverbs 26:2 WEB which says, “Like a fluttering sparrow, like a darting swallow, so the undeserved curse does not come to rest.” Psalms 109:17 also says, “As he loved cursing, so let it come unto him: as he delighted not in blessing, so let it be far from him.” The following scripture says that God will not allow people to use Satan to bring a curse upon his children. Numbers 23:8 reads, “How shall I curse, whom God hath not cursed? Or how shall I defy, whom the LORD hath not defied?” And Psalms 109:28 reads, “They may curse me, but you will bless me. May my persecutors be defeated, and may I, your servant, be glad.” In Old Testament times, just as a curse could be brought on yourself by disobedience, you had the chance to bring a blessing on yourself with obedience.
Some people quote scripture out of context when they say, “There is power in words, the power of life and death.” Proverbs 18:21 reads, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.” Some would imply therefore, that our words have supernatural power in that they can bring about calamity to someone just by speaking negative words or cursing someone. If there is power in words in this context, then couldn’t we also use words to bring good things? i.e., couldn’t we say to someone who is sick, “healing be upon you” and it would happen without divine power? What do you think? Would it work? I don’t think so, or prayer becomes obsolete. Words are powerful, but their power is natural and a result of how the hearer responds and is willing to believe them.
I think you’ll find what John Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible says is more likely to be correct: Proverbs 18:21 - Death and life are in the power of the tongue, Of witnesses, according to the testimony they bear; of judges, according to the sentence they pass; of teachers, according to the doctrine they preach; of all men, who, by their well or ill speaking, bring death or life to themselves and others. Some, by their tongues, by the too free use of them, or falsehood they utter, are the cause of death to themselves and others; and some, by their silence, or by their prudent speech and prevalent intercession, secure or obtain life for themselves and others; yea, judgment at the last day will proceed according to a man’s words, “By thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned”, Matthew 12:37; the tongue is the instrument either of a great deal of good, or of a great deal of evil;
People have indeed misinterpreted the word curse throughout the Bible. Matthew 26:74 says that Peter began to curse and swear when he was denying Jesus. Peter was not trying to curse anyone, but in fact was swearing an oath that he did not know Jesus, and was wishing a curse upon himself if he was lying, so he would be believed. Many times throughout the Bible, people cursed others, but unless it was under the authority of God, I can find no evidence that the curse ever came to rest. We must be very careful on how we interpret scriptures.
It seems to me, that the way many use the word curse does not apply and maybe curse is the wrong word to use. We will use the word curse in the rest of the study, as that is the way it is often described but we will see other instances that show using the word curse is not the correct terminology.
Where did the Teaching about Generational Curses come from?
The vast majority of the teaching concerning generational curses stems from the Old Testament, more specifically first mention is from Exodus 20:5-6 and is quoted again by Moses in the second reading of the law in Deuteronomy 5:9-10. This passage in the Bible is God’s warning about the consequences of idolatry affecting the third and fourth generation and is found in the Decalogue (the Ten Commandments). It says “Thou shalt not bow down to idols, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me.” This is a warning about the grave consequences of worshiping other gods. The Old Testament has many such warnings as well as narrative passages that describe the horrible consequences of idolatry in the life of Israel.
Even this warning is tempered with a greater promise of God’s mercy: “But showing loving kindness to thousands, to those who love me and keep my commandments.” Consider the fact that the Assyrians, whose capital city was Nineveh, were well known in the ancient world for their viciousness and brutality. They were Israel’s greatest enemies for a good part of her history from the divided kingdom to just before the Babylonian captivity. They were polytheistic idolaters. Yet Jonah, when called by God to preach the imminence of God’s wrath, ran from his call. The reason, as shown in Jonah 4:1-2, was that Jonah knew that the only reason God was sending him to preach to the pagan enemies was because God was intending to show them mercy. Jonah did not want that. The Ninevites who repented clearly had evil ancestors. Their parents and grandparents had hated God and made the Jews their enemies. Yet God forgave them when they repented and His wrath was forestalled. That this special theology lesson from the mouth of Jonah came from Exodus 34:6 should tell us a lot about the meaning of the passage. God could have justly destroyed Nineveh or placed generational curses (God’s punishment) on the people in the true Old Testament Biblical sense. He chose to show His mercy.
It is said by many Bible scholars that God punishing down to the third and fourth generation, was also intended to discourage the Jews from sinning, as most lived long enough to see their children down to the third or fourth generation. Other Bible scholars have also pointed out that if the children turn to God they shall avert this punishment.
For example, John Calvin commented about Exodus 20:5 that, “When God declares that He will cast back the iniquity of the fathers into the bosom of the children, He does not mean that He will take vengeance on poor wretches who have never deserved anything of the sort; but that He is at liberty to punish the crimes of the fathers upon their children and descendants, with the proviso that they too may be justly punished, as being imitators of their fathers.”
Here are two questions to ponder, “Do you think you can break a curse God placed? If yes, are you more powerful than God?” If we were still under law, no professional ministry or any of the false teachers with their ritualistic prayers have the power to break a curse placed by God. Only God himself can. He delights in breaking generational curses (His punishment) as soon as people turn to Him in repentance. A prime example is Nineveh, Jonah 3:10.
To summarize all of the above, those who rebelled against or hated God came under the curses of the covenant. See Deuteronomy 28:15-68. Those who try earnestly to keep his Commandments and love and humbly trust God, by faith, shall be blessed no matter what their ancestors did. This generational curse deliverance ministry is just nonsense.
Some may say that no one could ever keep all God’s Commandments so therefore the punishment would come upon all descendants. Did God know that his children would sometimes sin? Of course He did. Do we think that God is in the habit of making meaningless statements? I would hope not. What God was saying here is that he would NOT bring punishment or curses upon the descendants of those that loved him and did not live in willful sin. That is, they did the best they could to keep his Commandments and repent when they failed.
Proof of this can be seen with King David who committed adultery and then sent the husband of the woman he committed adultery with into battle and got him killed, 2 Samuel Chapters 11-12. David also carried out a census on the people capable of fighting, 2 Samuel 24. This was a sin as it was not the count of people that was winning the battles, but God. David took his faith from God and put it in men. So we can see that David indeed sinned badly.
So did this bring punishment onto all David’s children? Let’s look at his son Solomon. When Solomon became king, God asked Solomon in a dream, 1 Kings 3:5-14, “What would you have me give you?” Solomon asked for wisdom to rule God’s people. God said, “Because you have asked for the wisdom, instead of long life for yourself or riches or the death of your enemies, I will give you more wisdom and understanding than anyone has ever had before or will ever have again.” God also said, “I will give you what you have not asked for, which is wealth and honour, more than that of any other king, and if you obey me and keep my commands, as your father David did, I will give you a long life as well.” So is this God’s curse coming upon Solomon? No! Wisdom, wealth, long life, sounds like a Blessing to me! Note: God said David kept His Commands. We know David didn’t do that. So what did God mean? Same situation as Exodus 20:6, God meant do your best to keep my Commandments and genuinely repent when you fail.
Does God still Curse People for their Sin?
It can be seen from Exodus 20:5-6 that God did curse down to the third or fourth generation to those who rejected him that one could refer to as a generational curse, but is this the case with the New Covenant? Following are many scriptures that show God indeed does not curse his children anymore and that such generational curses are of the Old Covenant.
In Jeremiah 31:29 and Ezekiel 18:2 it reads, “The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge, and as surely as I am the living God, says the Sovereign Lord, you will not repeat this proverb in Israel any more. The life of every person belongs to me, the life of the parent as well as that of the child. The person who sins is the one who will die.”
The proverb “The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge” is best described by the Living Bible translation, i.e.; “The children are punished for their father’s sins. As I live, says the lord God, you will not use this proverb anymore.” In other words, what this passage is saying is that the parents ate the sour grapes and it was the children that got the sour grape taste, which means that the parents sinned and the children got the consequences. More importantly, what these Bible passages are saying is that the time will come when God will no longer punish down to the third and fourth generation (generational curse teaching origin) to those who hate Him and that everyone will be accountable for his or her own sins. It is well worthwhile reading all of Ezekiel Chapter 18 at this point, which clearly shows that everyone is to be accountable for their own sins, the parents for their own sins and the children for theirs.
When will this Proverb no longer be quoted?
In Old Covenant times, the Jews were under the curse of the law and the consequences of breaking God’s law were quite severe. The consequences are detailed in Deuteronomy 28:15-68.
However Galatians 3:13 says “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:”
To redeem means to purchase, to buy back, to set free. And here it means just that. Christ has purchased or set us free from the curse of the law, by His being made a curse for us.
The curse of the law means that he has rescued us from the consequences of transgressions in a world of woe. He has saved us from the punishment, which our sins have deserved. The word “us” here must refer to all who are redeemed; that is to the Gentiles as well as the Jews. The curse of the law is a curse, which is due to sin, and cannot be regarded as applied particularly to any one class of people. All who violate God’s law however are exposed to its penalty. The word law here relates to the Law of Moses, that is to all the laws written down in a book by Moses but not the Ten Commandments. The law of God threatened punishment in the world forever that would certainly have been inflicted but for the coming and death of Christ.
Being made a curse for us is an exceedingly important expression. There is scarcely any passage in the New Testament on which it is more important to have correct views than this, and scarcely any one on which more erroneous opinions have been entertained. In regards to it, we may observe that it does not mean:
- That by being made a curse, the Lord Jesus’ character or work was in any sense displeasing to God.
- Jesus was not ill deserving. He was not blameworthy. He had done no wrong. He was holy, harmless, undefiled. No crime charged upon him was proved and there is no clearer doctrine in the Bible than that, in all his character and work, the Lord Jesus was perfectly holy and pure.
- It cannot mean that the Lord Jesus deservingly bore the penalty of the law. His sufferings were in the place of the penalty, not the penalty itself.
“Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree.” A passage is found on this in Deuteronomy 21:23. It occurs in a law respecting one who was hanged for a “sin worthy of death” Deuteronomy 21:22. The law was that he should be buried the same day, and that the body should not remain suspended over night and the reason for this that “he that is hanged is accursed of God.”
Put more plainly, Jesus’ death on the cross freed us from the consequences of sin and the Mosaic Law and all the sacrifices it entailed. God does not do things in half measures. When Christ died for us he said, “it is finished” John 19:30. This does not mean that we are still under the curse of the law or that we will still die for our sins. We are TOTALLY set free from both! The cause of the curse was sin, and I’m sure nobody is disputing Jesus died for sins. The prophecy of Jeremiah 31:29 and Ezekiel 18:2 was also fulfilled which says, “In those days they shall say no more, the children are punished for their father’s sins.”
Paul’s comments in Romans 3:19-24 GNB also elaborate and clarify further on God’s law which reads, “Now we know that everything in the Law applies to those who live under the Law, in order to stop all human excuses and bring the whole world under God’s judgment. 20 For no one is put right in God’s sight by doing what the Law requires; what the Law does is to make us know that we have sinned. 21 But now God’s way of putting people right with himself has been revealed. It has nothing to do with law, even though the Law of Moses and the prophets gave their witness to it. 22 God puts people right through their faith in Jesus Christ. God does this to all who believe in Christ, because there is no difference at all: 23 everyone has sinned and is far away from God’s saving presence. 24 But by the free gift of God’s grace all are put right with him through Christ Jesus, who sets them free.”
In Galatians 3:8 Paul quoted Genesis 12:3 to prove that God justifies Gentiles by faith. He then says, “Therefore, those who believe are blessed together with Abraham, the one who believed. Certainly all who depend on the works of the law are under a curse. For it is written, “A curse on everyone who does not obey everything that is written in the book of the law!” Galatians 3:9-10 ISV. Paul was warning the Galatians that to try to find blessing by going back to the stipulations of the Mosaic Law (circumcision in particular) was to put one’s self under a curse. The true blessing is obtained by faith, which was also true in the Old Testament as shown in the faith of Abraham.
We cannot ignore the Old Testament, and especially the Ten Commandment law on which so much of the teaching is based. Matthew 5:17 clearly tells us that Jesus did not come to abolish the Law or the Prophets but rather to fulfil them. Notice verse twenty especially, where he tells them that to enter the Kingdom of Heaven their righteousness must surpass that of the Scribes and Pharisees. Jesus was not telling them to fulfil the law themselves. He was saying that it was impossible to do perfectly. Isaiah 42:21 says “The LORD is well pleased for his righteousness' sake; he will magnify the law, and make it honourable.” We see how Jesus in the following verses shows that he has made the task even harder if we are trying to do it ourselves as He did magnify the law. We are not to reject the law but to see that the only way to obey it fully is through Christ Jesus. So does this mean we can continue to sin wilfully? Absolutely not! Hebrews 10:26-29 says, “For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, … 28 He that despised Moses' law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: 29 Of how much sorer punishment, suppose you, shall he be thought worthy, who has trodden under foot the Son of God, and has counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and has done despite unto the Spirit of grace?” This is a very serious warning we should not ignore. No Christian should want to trample the Son of God underfoot.
As for Christians under the New Covenant, our blessings are because of the love and obedient relationship we have with God through Jesus Christ. As Paul said, Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law of Moses so that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles so that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. If you have been regenerated as are all who have true faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour, then you are inheriting the blessings of God and are delivered from the curse of the law. The cause of the curse is sin. God Himself pronounced the curse. God’s wrath must be appeased. Christ’s substitutionary death on the cross has appeased God’s wrath against sin for all believers and has removed the curse. We are now blessed sons of Abraham. Even if our parents, grandparents, and great grandparents were atheists, occultists, or blasphemers, God will pour out the full blessings of the New Covenant upon us if we truly come to Him through the cross, John 14:6. Since we are under God’s Grace, does this mean we no longer have to obey the Ten Commandments? There can be no misunderstanding Paul’s response. Romans 6:14-15 “For sin shall not have dominion over you: for you are not under the law, but under grace. 15 What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.”
On the other hand, those who put their trust in man are cursed. Jeremiah 17:5 says, “Thus saith the LORD; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the LORD.” That is the essence of the Galatian heresy. By putting people back under the Law of Moses, they deny the work of Jesus on the cross and the false teachers would surely put them back under the curse of this law. The Biblical teaching on this is very clear and it holds from Genesis through Revelation. Those who trust God are blessed and need never fear curses or need deal with the false teaching on breaking generational curses. Jeremiah 17:7 says, “Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is.”
Generational Curses and Freemasonry - Page 2