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Sermon No: 76375-M4-CH4-6 - Prayer faith etc



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SERMON TOPIC: M4-CH4-6 - Prayer faith etc

Speaker: Ken Paynter

Language: ENGLISH

Date: 11 September 2020

Topic Groups: COLLEGE, PRAYER, FAITH

Sermon synopsis: How do our prayers and God’s sovereignty and will relate, and are we able to command apart from God’s will.
Are you using the Bible to try get God to do what you want?
If you have faith you will be positive, but positive confession is not faith.
What does it mean to bind the strong man?
Can a Christian have a Generational curse or bloodline curse.

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Prayer, faith, Intercession and generational curses.

How do our prayers and God’s sovereignty and will relate, and are we able to command apart from God’s will.

Prayer and faith.

Prayer, Faith and the Sovereignty of God.

Some Christians think that God has given us an unconditional promise in His revealed will.

They appeal to verses such as

John 14:13.

And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.

Their prayers are very much like the one.

Mark 10:35.

“Teacher, we want You to do for us whatever we ask of You.”

This approach is common in the so-called “Name it, and Claim it” movement,

Two disciples used the blank check approach.

Mark 10:35-40.

Then James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to him. Teacher, they said, we want you to do for us whatever we ask. What do you want me to do for you? he asked.

They replied, Let one of us sit at your right and the other at your left in your glory.

You don’t know what you are asking, Jesus said. Can you drink the cup I drink or be baptized with the baptism I am baptized with? We can, they answered.

Jesus said to them, You will drink the cup I drink and be baptized with the baptism I am baptized with, but to sit at my right or left is not for me to grant. These places belong to those for whom they have been prepared.

Prayer and faith and the context of Scripture.

John 15:5-8.

I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.

If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.

If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.

This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.

Do you have a right to demand anything from God. renner.org

If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. — John 15:7

Exactly how bold can you dare to be in prayer? Do you have the right to come into the Presence of God and make certain demands of Him? What are your rights, your limitations, and your boundaries when it comes to the issue of prayer?

Jesus used an attention-grabbing word in John 15:7 when He was speaking to the disciples about prayer. The King James Version says, “…Ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.” The Greek word “ask” destroys any religious suggestion that we are lowly worms who have no right to come into the Presence of God. It also destroys the picture that we must pitifully beg and plead for the things we need of the Lord. You see, the word “ask” is the Greek word aiteo, a word that means to be adamant in requesting and demanding assistance to meet tangible needs, such as food, shelter, money, and so forth.

Although this word aiteo means to demand or to insist, it does not give a believer license to be arrogant or rude in his approach to God. In fact, in the New Testament, the word aiteo is used to portray a person addressing a superior. The person may insist or demand that a certain need be met, but he approaches and speaks to his superior with respect and honor. Additionally, the word aiteo expresses the idea that one possesses a full expectation to receive what was firmly requested.

There is no doubt that this word describes someone who prays authoritatively, in a sense demanding something from God. This person knows what he needs and is so filled with faith that he isn’t afraid to boldly come into God’s Presence to ask and expect to receive what he has requested.

Some people are disturbed by this idea of “demanding” something from God. However, they wouldn’t find this particular concept of prayer so disturbing if they kept it in context with the entire verse

The first part of John 15:7 gives the key: “If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you….”

Jesus knew that if His words take up permanent residency in your heart and mind, you will never ask for something that is out of line with His will for your life.

His Word will so transform your mind that your prayers will always be in accordance with what He has already said. In fact, this transformation process is what gives you the confidence to boldly come into God’s Presence and make your requests known!

You ask boldly because you already know it is what He wants to do!

And don’t think that you can only come to God for spiritual blessings.

As noted earlier, the word aiteo used in John 15:7 primarily has to do with requesting things of a physical and material nature, such as food, clothes, shelter, money, and so forth.

Jesus plainly stated in Matthew 6:33 that if we seek the Kingdom of God first, God will see to it that all the material things we need are provided. On the other hand, James 4:2 teaches that believers often do not have what they need because they don’t ask! Philippians 4:6 says, “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.” The word translated “request” is also the word aiteo. By using aiteo in this verse, Paul also urges us to be bold, authoritative, and commanding.

However, he underscores the point that our approach to God must not be rude and arrogant but rather filled with gratefulness and thanksgiving.

This means we should have a thankful, grateful heart as we come to make our requests known.

As you allow God’s Word to take an authoritative role in your heart and mind and you give that Word the freedom to transform your thinking, your mind will become renewed to God’s will. When that happens, it will cause you to pray in accordance with His plan for your life. Once you are in this position, you are ready to experience this aiteo kind of prayer. That’s when you can begin to boldly, courageously, and confidently move into higher realms of prayer to obtain the petition you desire of God! As you make your bold requests known to God, take the time to show your respect by thanking Him for all He has done in your life!

GEORGE MUELLER (1805-1898)

He made it a habit to keep a notebook with 2-page entries.

On one page he gave the petition and the date, and on the opposite page he entered the date of the answer. In this manner he was able to keep record of definite petitions, and their specific answers. He recommended this form to believers who desired specific results to their prayers. Thus there is no guesswork as to when God answers prayers. "…I live in the spirit of prayer. I pray as I walk about, when I lie down and when I rise up. And the answers are always coming. Thousands and tens of thousands of times have my prayers been answered. When once I am persuaded that a thing is right and for the glory of God, I go on praying for it until the answer comes.

The Mueller's set off for the United States in August 1877 aboard the Sardian.

Off Newfoundland the weather turned cold and the ship's progress was seriously retarded by fog.

GEORGE MUELLER (1805-1898)

The captain had been on the bridge for 24 hours when something happened which was to revolutionize his life. George Mueller appeared on the bridge. "Captain, I have come to tell you I must be in Quebec by Saturday afternoon.” "It is impossible," said the captain. "Very well, " said Mueller, "if your ship cannot take me, God will find some other way--I have never broken an engagement for 52 years. Let us go down into the chart-room and pray.” The Captain wondered which lunatic asylum Mueller had come from. "Mr. Mueller," he said, "do you know how dense this fog is?” "No, my eye is not on the density of the fog, but on the living God, who controls every circumstance of my life."

Mueller then knelt down and prayed simply. When he had finished the captain was about to pray, but Mueller put his hand on his shoulder, and told him not to. "First, you do not believe He will' and second, I believe He has, and there is no need whatever for you to pray about it.”

The captain looked at Mueller in amazement. "Captain," he continued, I have known my Lord for 52 years, and there has never been a single day that I have failed to get an audience with the King. Get up, captain, and open the door, and you will find the fog is gone.” The captain walked across to the door and opened it. The fog had lifted. It was the captain himself, who later told the story of this incident, and who was subsequently described by a well known evangelist as "one of the most devoted men I ever knew.”

During the last year of Mr. Mueller's life, among the gifts (for the feeding of the orphans) recorded were 7, 203 loaves of bread; 5,222 buns; 20 boxes of soap; 9 tons of coal; 26 haunches of venison; 112 rabbits; 312 pheasants; 5 bags of oatmeal; 26 cases of oranges; 5 boxes of dates and 4,013 pounds of meat along with hundreds of other items.

Peter was released from prison by an Angel.

Acts 12:1-17.

The night before Herod was to bring him to trial, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains, and sentries stood guard at the entrance. Suddenly an angel of the Lord appeared and a light shone in the cell. He struck Peter on the side and woke him up. Quick, get up! he said, and the chains fell off Peter’s wrists. Then the angel said to him, Put on your clothes and sandals. And Peter did so. Wrap your cloak around you and follow me, the angel told him.

Peter followed him out of the prison, but he had no idea that what the angel was doing was really happening; he thought he was seeing a vision.

Acts 12:1-17 (continued)

…….Then Peter came to himself …… he went to the house of Mary the mother of John, also called Mark, where many people had gathered and were praying. Peter knocked at the outer entrance, and a servant named Rhoda came to answer the door. When she recognized Peter’s voice, she was so overjoyed she ran back without opening it and exclaimed, Peter is at the door! You’re out of your mind, they told her.

When she kept insisting that it was so, they said, It must be his angel. But Peter kept on knocking, and when they opened the door and saw him, they were astonished.

Clearly they were praying, but their Faith was not great.

So it is not great faith in God so much as Faith in a great God that matters.

John the Baptist heralded Jesus as the Messiah.

John 1:29-34.

The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! This is the one I meant when I said, A man who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.

I myself did not know him, but the reason I came baptizing with water was that he might be revealed to Israel.

Then John gave this testimony: I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on him. And I myself did not know him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit. I have seen and I testify that this is God’s Chosen One.

John the Baptist was left in prison to die.

Do you think that John prayed in prison?

Matthew 11:2.

When John, who was in prison, heard about the deeds of the Messiah, he sent his disciples to ask him, Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?

Jesus replied, Go back and report to John what you hear and see: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor.

Blessed is anyone who does not stumble on account of me.

Do you think that John the Baptist had reason to be offended with Jesus for leaving him in prison?

Remember that Jesus read this out in the synagogue in Nazareth.

Isaiah 61:1.

The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners…..

Setting the captives free.

Luke 4:16-21.

He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. He stood up to read, and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written: The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour. Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him. He began by saying to them, Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.

As John’s disciples were leaving, Jesus began to speak to the crowd about John: What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed swayed by the wind? If not, what did you go out to see?

A man dressed in fine clothes? No, those who wear fine clothes are in kings’ palaces.

Then what did you go out to see?

A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet.

This is the one about whom it is written: I will send my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way before you.”

Truly I tell you, among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist;

What are you doing with God’s Word?

Are you using the Bible to try get God to do what you want?

Matthew 4:5,6.

This type of manipulation is not new, Satan used it in his temptation of Jesus in the wilderness when he said “it is written”.

Are you using the “it is written” line on God?

Putting a gun to His head in a sense.

Does your “Theology” question God’s love?

Romans 8:35-39.

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword. As it is written: For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.

There is an “It is written” to counter the self-centred Theology that is preached from some pulpits based on an “It is written”, but it’s your responsibility to get to know God’s Word.

John Huss was burnt at the stake and died singing a hymn.

The Logos and Rhema.

Rhema Wikipedia: An utterance or thing said.

Rhema is the revealed word of God as an utterance from God to the heart of the believer.

You read a scripture that perhaps you have read many times before and yet some how it suddenly takes on a new meaning and becomes alive to you.

Luke 4:29,30.

They got up, drove him out of the town, and took him to the brow of the hill on which the town was built, in order to throw him down the cliff. But he walked right through the crowd and went on his way.

Here at Nazareth we see the protection Jesus enjoyed, but this scripture was not a Rhema at Gethsemane as the Father’s will was plainly shown after Jesus agonised in prayer.

Faith is not presumption.

“Promised a Miracle” is a true story.

Three days after Lucky Parker announced in church that her son’s diabetes had been cured by God, 11-year-old Wesley was dead. Because the Parkers threw Wesley’s insulin away, they were eventually convicted of involuntary manslaughter and felony child abuse and put on probation.

These events took place 15 years ago in Barstow.

The TV film project is based on Larry Parker’s book, “We Let Our Son Die.” The Parkers themselves appear as extras.

“I’m proud of CBS for saying yes to this movie,” Arquette said. “This is an important story to tell.”

The Parkers agree, and they dedicated “We Let Our Son Die” “To our beloved son, Wesley, may his death not be in vain.” In the book, which was published in 1980, Parker wrote: “Wesley died needlessly, a victim of our imbalance and misuse of the Bible. . . . All healing comes from God--medicine, nature and prayer are methods by which He accomplishes it. . . . Ample evidence exists in the Bible for the cooperation between medicine and healing by faith.”

Faith is not positive confession.

If you have faith you will be positive, but positive confession is not faith.

Lamentations 3:37.

Who has spoken and it came to pass, unless the Lord has commanded it?

James 4:13-16.

Come now, you who say, Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit, yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that. As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil.

Prayer and Faith.

Doubt.

James 1:5-8. If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.

That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.

Mark 9:23.

Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things [are] possible to him that believeth.

Lack of Faith is one reason for unanswered prayer.

There are numerous other reasons

Idolatry - Jeremiah 11:11-14.

Disobedience - Ezekiel 8:15-18.

Un-repented sin - 1 Peter 3:8-12.

Neglect of mercy - Proverbs 21:13.

Selfish motives - James 4:2-3.

Self-righteousness - Luke 18:9-14.

Husbands disrespectful to their wives - 1 Peter 3:7.

Lack of persistence – Luke 18:1-7.

Unseen spiritual warfare - Daniel 10:10-14.

The Lucky charms like “Binding and loosing” - Matthew 16:18-19.

Unanswered prayer.

Jeremiah 11:11.

Therefore thus says the LORD, Behold I am bringing disaster on them which they will not be able to escape; though they will cry to Me, yet I will not listen to them.

1. Idolatry. (The idols of materialism)

Jeremiah 11:11-14.

Therefore thus says the LORD, Behold I am bringing disaster on them which they will not be able to escape; though they will cry to Me, yet I will not listen to them.

Then the cities of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem will go and cry to the gods to whom they burn incense, but they surely will not save them in the time of their disaster.

Jeremiah 11:11-14.

For your gods are as many as your cities, O Judah; and as many as the streets of Jerusalem are the altars you have set up to the shameful thing, altars to burn incense to Baal.

Therefore do not pray for this people, nor lift up a cry or prayer for them; for I will not listen when they call to Me because of their disaster.

2. Disobedience.

Zechariah 7:9-13.

They made their hearts as hard as flint and would not listen to the law or to the words that the Lord Almighty had sent by his Spirit through the earlier prophets.

So the Lord Almighty was very angry.

When I called, they did not listen; so when they called, I would not listen, says the Lord Almighty.

Proverbs 1:28-29.

Then they will call to me but I will not answer; they will look for me but will not find me, since they hated knowledge and did not choose to fear the LORD.

Proverbs 28:9. If anyone turns a deaf ear to my instruction, even their prayers are detestable.

3. Unrepented sin.

Isaiah 59:1,2.

Surely the arm of the Lord is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear.

But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear.

For your hands are stained with blood, your fingers with guilt.

Your lips have spoken falsely, and your tongue mutters wicked things.

No one calls for justice; no one pleads a case with integrity. They rely on empty arguments, they utter lies; they conceive trouble and give birth to evil.

4. Neglect of mercy.

Proverbs 21:13

Whoever shuts their ears to the cry of the poor will also cry out and not be answered.

5. Selfish motives: your own pleasures.

James 4:2-3.

You do not have because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.

6. Self-righteousness.

Luke 18:9-14.

Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: God, I thank you that I am not like other people, robbers, evildoers, adulterers, or even like this tax collector.

I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get. But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.

7. Husbands been inconsiderate and disrespectful to their wives.

1 Peter 3:7.

Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.

8. Lack of persistence.

Luke 18:1-7.

Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up.

He said: In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared what people thought. And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, Grant me justice against my adversary.

For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, Even though I don’t fear God or care what people think, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually come and attack me!

And the Lord said, Listen to what the unjust judge says. And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly.

9. Unseen spiritual warfare. (Delayed answers)

Daniel 10:10-14.

A hand touched me and set me trembling on my hands and knees. He said, Daniel, you who are highly esteemed, consider carefully the words I am about to speak to you, and stand up, for I have now been sent to you. And when he said this to me, I stood up trembling.

Then he continued, Do not be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to them. But the prince of the Persian kingdom resisted me twenty-one days. Then Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, because I was detained there with the king of Persia.

10. Lucky charms and unscriptural practices like “Binding and loosing.”

Matthew 16:18-19.

But what about you? he asked. Who do you say I am? Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”

Jesus replied, Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven. And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.

I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.

10. “Binding and loosing.” Gotquestions.org

Question: "What does it mean to bind the strong man?" Answer: The phrase bind the strong man (or strongman) is a reference to a passage in the book of Mark, where Jesus is responding to some Jewish scribes who were accusing Him of being possessed by Beelzebul.

Their argument was that “by the prince of demons he is driving out demons” (Mark 3:22).

In other words, the reason the demons listened to Jesus was that they were in league with Him and recognized Him as their commanding officer, so to speak.

Jesus refuted their blasphemous argument with plain logic: “How can Satan cast out Satan?” (Mark 3:23) and then gave them a parable.

First, Jesus spoke of the principle of a divided kingdom, which cannot stand (verses 24–26). Then He told them, “No one can enter a strong man’s house without first tying him up. Then he can plunder the strong man’s house” (Mark 3:27).

Jesus refers to Satan as the “strong man” and to Himself as the One who enters the house and plunders the place. Of course, before Satan allows his domain to be “plundered,” he must be incapacitated.

Jesus was not in league with Satan, as the scribes suggested, but had come to the earth, to what is essentially Satan’s “house” (1 John 5:19), in order to bind Satan and plunder his “goods,” which are the souls of men (John 17:15; Luke 4:18; Ephesians 4:8).

A parallel passage says this: “When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own house, his possessions are safe. But when someone stronger attacks and overpowers him, he takes away the armor in which the man trusted and divides up his plunder” (Luke 11:21–22).

Satan is strong, and he holds possessions that he guards jealously. But Jesus is the One who was and is stronger than the strong man.

He is the only One who can bind the strong man and rescue us from his clutches (see John 12:31).

Some Christians, usually in the Charismatic or Pentecostal movements, apply Jesus’ parable to the spiritual warfare that believers must wage.

They teach that Christians are the ones who must “bind the strong man” in their lives or in their cities and then win the victory in Jesus’ name.

Some Charismatic preachers even name the “strong men” and attempt to identify the cities or geographical areas over which they hold power.

Such doctrines go far beyond what Jesus said. The Lord’s parable was simply to impress upon the scribes that He was not in league with Satan.

Never does Jesus instruct us to “bind the strong man” or tell us how to do it. We do not have warrant to interpret the parable as a spiritual reality over geographical regions.

Intercession is also important especially in Leadership.

Intercession:

Oxford meaning.

The action of intervening on behalf of another or of saying a prayer on behalf of another.

Ezekiel 22:29-31.

The people of the land have practiced extortion and committed robbery. They have oppressed the poor and needy, and have extorted from the sojourner without justice.

And I sought for a man among them who should build up the wall and stand in the breach before me for the land, that I should not destroy it, but I found none.

Therefore I have poured out my indignation upon them. I have consumed them with the fire of my wrath. I have returned their way upon their heads, declares the Lord GOD.

Job’s Intercession.

Job 42:8-10

"Now therefore, take for yourselves seven bulls and seven rams, and go to My servant Job, and offer up a burnt offering for yourselves, and My servant Job will pray for you For I will accept him so that I may not do with you according to your folly, because you have not spoken of Me what is right, as My servant Job has.“ So Eliphaz the Temanite and Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite went and did as the LORD told them; and the LORD accepted Job. The LORD restored the fortunes of Job when he prayed for his friends, and the LORD increased all that Job had twofold.

Abraham’s Intercession.

Genesis 18:23-33 Abraham came near and said, "Will You indeed sweep away the righteous with the wicked? "Suppose there are fifty righteous within the city; will You indeed sweep it away and not spare the place for the sake of the fifty righteous who are in it? "Far be it from You to do such a thing, to slay the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous and the wicked are treated alike. Far be it from You! Shall not the Judge of all the earth deal justly?" So the LORD said, "If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I will spare the whole place on their account." And Abraham replied, "Now behold, I have ventured to speak to the Lord, although I am but dust and ashes. "Suppose the fifty righteous are lacking five, will You destroy the whole city because of five?"

Moses' Intercession.

Exodus 32:31-32. Then Moses returned to the LORD, and said, Alas, this people has committed a great sin, and they have made a god of gold for themselves.

But now, if You will, forgive their sin--and if not, please blot me out from Your book which You have written!

Samuel’s Intercession.

1 Samuel 12:18-25.

Then Samuel called on the Lord, and that same day the Lord sent thunder and rain.

So all the people stood in awe of the Lord and of Samuel. The people all said to Samuel, “Pray to the Lord your God for your servants so that we will not die, for we have added to all our other sins the evil of asking for a king.”

“Do not be afraid,” Samuel replied. “You have done all this evil; yet do not turn away from the Lord, but serve the Lord with all your heart. Do not turn away after useless idols. They can do you no good, nor can they rescue you, because they are useless.

For the sake of his great name the Lord will not reject his people, because the Lord was pleased to make you his own. As for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord by failing to pray for you.

David’s Intercession.

2 Samuel 24:17.

Then David spoke to the LORD when he saw the angel who was striking down the people, and said, Behold, it is I who have sinned, and it is I who have done wrong; but these sheep, what have they done? Please let Your hand be against me and against my father's house.

Intercession.

Just as the High Priest Samuel was an intercessor on behalf of Israel, so likewise Jesus our High Priest is our intercessor before the throne of God.

Romans 8:31-34.

If God is for us, who can be against us?

He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all, how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?

Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen?

It is God who justifies. Who then is the one who condemns? No one.

Christ Jesus who died, more than that, who was raised to life, is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.

Generational curses.

Christian superstition

Let’s consider the topic of “Christian superstition”. Perhaps some of us would not be too keen to admit that we are superstitious, but I’ve encountered quite a number of Christians that have been influenced by this teaching of “blood line curses”, “generational curses” and so on. In my opinion, there are two reasons why this type of thing has an appeal.

Generational curses.

Firstly.

People are fascinated and intrigued by the supernatural; spooks, goblins, spells and curses and these kind of things are big sellers nowadays. If you look at the big selling books and the big selling films, it’s often to do with the supernatural. Many people have an inclination towards this.

Secondly.

Man is forever trying to lay the blame on someone else or something else for his sin. Modern psychology is testimony of the fact that people don’t like accepting blame. Blame your father, blame your mother, blame the environment for why you are what you are, this has its root right back in the book of Genesis in the creation. Adam blamed Eve, Eve blamed the serpent and the serpent did not have a leg to stand on! So man is inclined to not want to accept responsibility for his sin.

Salvation plus “something else”

Often people who get converted amongst the black community that have practiced ancestral worship, are accused of bringing in their ancestral worship and mingling it with Christianity.

But westerners who bring all this superstition and fear into Christianity and get people to believe that the blood of Jesus and His sacrifice on the cross at Calvary is not sufficient to deal with their past and to deal with their sin, are no better off.

They preach that “something extra” is needed, that you have to go through some extra process or go and see someone who has had specialised training, so that they can get blood line curses and generational curses etc broken.

1 Corinthians 5:17 says:

If any man is in Christ he is a new creature, old things have passed away behold all things, all things, have become new.

Years back there was a doctrine that had a similar kind of appeal - where you didn’t have to accept responsibility for your own choices and your own sins. That was the doctrine of Christians being demon possessed. People would go and have the demon of nicotine cast out of them and the demon of alcohol. Everywhere you looked there was suddenly a demon to account for why people were doing what they were doing.

Is it possible for a Christian to be demon possessed?

2 Corinthians 6:14 says:

Do not be yoked together with unbelievers, for what does righteousness and wickedness have in common? What fellowship can light have with darkness? What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols?

Now this is an admonition and a command for us not to get married to or to go into business with unbelievers. “What fellowship can light have with darkness?” And yet people have this doctrine which suggests that a demon can cohabit our body with the Holy Spirit. Would the Holy Spirit and the Word of God charge us to live holy and separate lives - not to have anything to do with the darkness and unbelievers - and yet the same Holy Spirit is prepared to cohabit with a demon? I think not!

Generational curses or Bloodline curses.

Deuteronomy 5:9. is where the root of this issue starts and it’s also mentioned in Exodus 20. Both of these are accounts of the Ten commandments being given.

Deuteronomy 5:9.

Visiting the iniquities of the father upon the children until the third and fourth generation of those who hate me.

What is overlooked in this passage of Scripture is the fact that it is visited upon those that hate God.

An iniquity is a sin that shows up at a later stage.

Isaiah 53:5. “He was bruised for our iniquities”

A bruise does not show up straight away. Somebody can hit you on the arm and you won’t see anything. It may hurt, but you won’t see anything. The next day you will notice that you have a bruise there and that is what iniquity is. It’s a sin that’s in your family, that if you do not serve the Lord, will almost surely show up in your own life.

You will find that often when husbands beat their wives, their sons beat their wives. Often when people abuse alcohol, their children become alcoholics etc. There is a very strong possibility that whatever your father does, you will end up doing - if you hate God.

NB: the iniquities will be visited upon the children up until the third and fourth generation of them that hate God. Parental influence is a huge factor in your life.

The Jews began believing that this actually meant that if something was wrong with them, it was because their father sinned.

People still believed this in Jesus day.

John 9:1-3.

As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind? Neither this man nor his parents sinned, said Jesus, but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life.

The Lord tells Ezekiel to correct this proverb which he hated.

Ezekiel 18:1-3.

The fathers eat sour grapes and the children’s teeth are set on edge.

Ezekiel 18:1-4 & 5-9 & 10-13.

The word of the LORD came to me: What do you people mean by quoting this proverb about the land of Israel: The fathers eat sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge? As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD, you will no longer quote this proverb in Israel. For everyone belongs to me, the parent as well as the child, both alike belong to me. The one who sins is the one who will die.

And yet people today quote that proverb and people today use that proverb as a basis for teaching generational curses and blood line curses.

God hated that proverb then and I can guarantee you that he still hates it now.

The Lord goes to great lengths to clarify this:

Ezekiel 18:5-9 & 10-13.

Suppose there is a righteous man who does what is just and right. He does not eat at the mountain shrines or look to the idols of the house of Israel. …He follows my decrees and faithfully keeps my laws. That man is righteous; he will surely live, declares the Sovereign LORD.”

“Suppose he has a violent son, who sheds blood or does any of these other things (though the father has done none of them): “He eats at the mountain shrines. He defiles his neighbor’s wife. He oppresses the poor and needy. He commits robbery. He does not return what he took in pledge. He looks to the idols. He does detestable things. He lends at usury and takes excessive interest. Will such a man live? He will not! Because he has done all these detestable things, he will surely be put to death and his blood will be on his own head.”

Ezekiel 18:14-17.

But suppose this son has a son who sees all the sins his father commits, and though he sees them, he does not do such things:

He does not eat at the mountain shrines or look to the idols of the house of Israel.

He does not defile his neighbor’s wife…

He keeps my laws and follows my decrees.

He will not die for his father’s sin; he will surely live.

So God goes through three generations to teach that each and every person is responsible for his own choices, it has nothing to do with what your ancestors did.

It goes on to say

Ezekiel 18:17-23.

He will not die for his father’s sin; he will surely live. But his father will die for his own sin, because he practiced extortion, robbed his brother and did what was wrong among his people. Yet you ask, ‘Why does the son not share the guilt of his father?

Since the son has done what is just and right and has been careful to keep all my decrees, he will surely live.

So we see clearly that the guilt of the father will not be visited down upon the son.

Everyone will be dealt with according to his own righteousness or unrighteousness.

Deuteronomy 5:9.

Visiting the iniquities of the father upon the children until the third and fourth generation of those who hate me.

Doctrine is important.

Paul says that there are those going around teaching certain things and it says they must be silenced.

1 Tim 4:16.

Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.

1 Tim 1:3.

stay there in Ephesus so that you may command certain men not to teach false doctrines any longer.

Titus 1: 9.

He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it.

We have been given the Word of God so that we may refute those who teach wrong doctrine. Paul says there are those going around teaching things they ought not to teach destroying the faith of some. What is so sad is that when I searched on Google for “blood line curses” there were only one or two decent sites for every twenty or thirty “nonsense” sites. The sad thing is that young Christians get into churches where this kind of stuff is taught. We need to be very careful because it is unscriptural and it just stirs up superstition and fear in people’s hearts. Paul writes to Timothy and he says:

2 Tim 1:7. KJV

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”

My encouragement is get into the word of God; don’t just accept any teaching.

The church in Berea was commended because they didn’t just accept what Paul taught, but they went and they checked it out against the Word of God to make sure that it was true.

Acts 17:11.

Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.

You have a responsibility to check that what you are taught is Scriptural . It does not matter who the teacher is or what authority they have over you. The authority of God’s Word is far higher and far greater. Check it out against God’s Word and if it lines up with God’s Word - accept it. If it does not - reject it.

COPYRIGHT INFORMATION

Unless otherwise stated, Scripture quotations are taken from the NIV: THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB: New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation Used by permission. (http://www.Lockman.org)

Scripture quotations are taken from the ESV: Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.




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