“5 thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, 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; 6 and shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.” (Exodus 20:5-6)
I once prayed for deliverance over a young child who was staying with his aunt. The aunt, who herself as demonic issues, contacted me to ask if I think her nephew has demons. The aunt suspected there must be something wrong with the boy (about between the age of 5-10) on a spiritual level when he asked his cousin, who is her daughter, to kiss him. That’s strange, what would compel a boy to ask his own cousin to kiss him? So, I prayed for deliverance for him and sure enough, an evil spirit manifested.
Children can have demons as a result of the parents (or grandparents or great-grandparents) sins. We suspected one of his forefathers may have brought this perverse spirit into his family line. The aunt and I discussed what could have opened the door to the enemy, and she told me that her forefather was involved in incest.
Generational curses or intergenerational (“familial”) spirits were something I was a tad bit skeptical about as I thought it is not explicitly clear in scriptures (although conversely, scriptures do not contradict the idea of generational curses). But how else can one explain how a young child can have an evil spirit? It couldn’t be by his own sins because he was just a child. In Jesus’ ministry of a severely demonized boy, Jesus finds out from the father that his son had been in such a horrible condition “from childhood” (Mark 9:21). The demonization was therefore not the result of the boy’s own sin or his choice to worship false gods. The spirits were passed onto him from some other source, which most likely is his family. I have expelled evil spirits from many other people that confirms to me that people can indeed inherit evil spirits from their ancestors. So, it’s not always by the person’s own sins a person is demonized. We are not guilty because of our ancestors’ sins, but they can surely affect us.
Studies in non-Christian religions and occultism reveal transference from ancestors to be a fact. But what about what the Bible reads? Jewish heads of households knew whatever they did would affect their families for generations. God told them so multiple times (Exodus 20:5-6; Exodus 34:7; Deuteronomy 5:9b-10; Deuteronomy 23:2; Deuteronomy 28:15-18; Numbers 14:18; Jeremiah 16:10-11; Jeremiah 32:18). During trouble, they stood before God and confessed the sins of their family, even of their countryman. Cases of this are found in Nehemiah 1:4-9; Jeremiah 14:20; and Daniel 9:1-19. The Jews knew that the grievous sins of the fathers could affect future generations. The principle is that family sin or judgment for that sin flows through the family line, affecting the succeeding generations who had nothing to do with the sins in question. We can see examples of this by observing the sons of the priest Eli (1 Samuel 2:12-36), the consequence of Ahab’s sins passed on to his son’s house (1 Kings 21:29), the descendants of Shemaiah punished because their father taught rebellion against the Lord (Jeremiah 29:32), and the trouble David had with his sons (part of the punishment from God for David’s sin was the death of his child as written in 2 Samuel 12:14-18) – that the consequence of a father’s sin falls into the lap of future generations (Jeremiah 32:18). It is God’s prerogative how He deals with punishment for unresolved sin. One means of this may be to allow the enemy to affect the descendants of unrepentant sinners.
One Christian author gives this insight:
Anyone who works long enough with people will notice that certain family behaviors, both desirable and undesirable, are repetitive. Thus, a father who models discipline and faithfulness may inculcate these traits in his son. On the other hand, a man who is given to indulgence in pornography, or a man who cannot control his temper, may pass on these weaknesses to his children. Such traits vary from physical indulgences to criticism, bitterness and anger. Of course, these are mostly behaviors learned by a child in a family-of-origin context. But what if distinct traits of a grandfather show up in a grandson even though the two have had very little contact? Are these transmitted genetically? Perhaps. Very likely both genetic predisposition and learned behavior are interrelated. One reinforces the other.
There is a third possibility: the activity of “familial” spirits that operate in connection with family lineage. Here’s the given: The devil attacks and exploits unconfessed sin. If sin occurs and remains unresolved, especially sin related to idolatry or witchcraft, the enemy has a legal right of accusation. Combining the biblical principle of the visitation of the sins of the fathers on the children with clinical data from deliverance sessions, we observe a connection between genealogical sin and oppression in current generations. Satan’s goal is to perpetuate his strongholds. But let me make one point very clear: Even if I have a heritage saturated with sin and iniquity and have to deal with the harassment of familiar spirits, I am not personally responsible and accountable for those ancestral sins. I am held responsible for my own moral compromises.
Here’s a hypothetical illustration: Let’s say that my great-grandmother practiced occultism. She would have consorted with spirits and received certain powers of divination. She went to her grave unrepentant and unredeemed, her sin unresolved before God. What happens to those divining and deceiving spirits when she dies? Where do they go? They will probably try to stay within the family. The typical scenario is that these spirits will transfer to the daughter or granddaughter, or cross over to the male line. The spirits claim a right to remain in the family based on the unrepentant or unresolved sin. A generation or two later, I enter the picture and come into the kingdom of God. If, at the time of conversion, I do not sufficiently separate and break from these spiritual connections, I may experience some significant oppression and resistance to my growth in grace. Typically, this is evidenced by significant struggles to read the Bible, to pray or to experience the joy of the Lord.
(Tom White, The Believer’s Guide to Spiritual Warfare, 92-93)
Christian authors, Ankerberg and Weldon wrote:
We know that certain sins committed by the parents in the physical realm can seriously affect-even deform or kill- an unborn child. This would include alcohol or drug addiction and many sexually transmitted diseases like herpes, syphilis, and AIDS. We also know that the physical and emotional sins of parents can also leave lasting scars on their children as in incest, emotional withdrawal, and physical abuse. Can we be sure, then, that the spiritual area is exempt from visiting the sins of the parents on the children? Why are some children “born” psychic?…
(The Coming Darkness, 208).
Dr. Kurt E Koch, theologian and author, lists scores of examples where children of occult practitioners have suffered emotionally even though they were not directly involved in such practices themselves, wrote:
It is actually quite usual for such a marriage [of occultists] to produce children who are severely oppressed.
(Occult ABC, 275).
He also noted:
It is indeed a fact established by some 600 examples from pastoral experience with those involved in the occult, that prolonged occult practice creates a corresponding psychological constitution, a susceptibility, an inclination, a breeding-ground for various psychological disorders. In a long series of cases it has been possible to establish that occult subjection is an especially marked psychological constitution lasting through four succeeding generations of the same family.
(Christian Counseling and Occultism, 117-118).
Moreover, he wrote:
It is clear in a number of cases that charmers, spiritists, and sorcerers bring oppression on their descendants to the third and fourth generations. This accords with the second of the Ten Commandments, which speaks of “visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generation of those who hate God.
(Occult ABC, 276).
He gives many examples, found in his book Christian Counseling and Occultism, which are indicative of the impact one person can have on his family and even succeeding generations:
(Case 60) Although she had a [magical] charm for every disease of man and beast, she was unable to control the psychological sufferings of her own posterity. From her own children down to her grand-children, an enormous variety of psychological disorders are to be observed….
(Case 61) Her grandmother was a charmer for many years. Her oldest son, the father of the girl who came to me, was harassed by suicidal thoughts. The second son hanged himself. This first granddaughter had fits of mania….
(Case 62) After years of successful [demonic] healing practice, his own mind became disturbed. He was taken to a mental institution. Two of his children the same fate. The whole family had psychological disturbances for several generations.
(Case 63) Her grandfather worked with magic books and conducted occult experiments. Finally he became blind. He burned his magic books and warned his children that they must not continue his occult practices because he had become blind as a result of them. In the following generation as astounding picture of psychological abnormalities presented itself. The son was an alcoholic. The granddaughter is a clairvoyant…. Five of his grandchildren are mentally abnormal… some with psychoses.
The following are examples found in the book Occult ABC:
Ex 304 While I was on a speaking tour in the province of Santa Catarina, Brazil, a woman Salvation Army officer came to me for counseling. She was of psychic disposition and encountered severe attacks during the night and when praying or reading her Bible. In my addresses, I mentioned some examples similar to events in her own family, and she therefore had confidence in me. As she told the story of her life, the following facts came out. Her grandmother and her mother were active spiritists. Her mother’s brother had committed suicide. Her father had been killed in an explosion. Her own husband had been killed in a road accident. Her eldest son also had a fatal accident.
These are not uncommon occurrences found in a spiritist’s family: accidents, suicides, mental disorders, etc. which are severe attacks from satan’s kingdom. Frequent accidents and suicides seem to be a familiar phenomenon in the world of the occult.
Again, I quote Ankerberg and Weldon:
Many secular researchers have also noted there is a hereditary factor for psychic predisposition: Dr. Fodor, the psychoanalyst/ psychic researcher referred to earlier, observes: ‘In most cases mediumship can be traced as a hereditary gift. If the heredity is not direct it is to be found in ancestors or collaterals.’
The compilation by the editors of Psychic magazine- Psychics: In Depth Interviews- reveals a consistent pattern. Most psychics interviewed admitted familial involvement. Famous mediums Arthur Ford, Eileen Garrett, and Douglas Johnson all had aunts who were mediums or psychics; Irene Hughes and Peter Hurkos both had psychic mothers; and virtually all 19 members of witch Sybil Leek’s nuclear and extended family were sympathetic to psychicism.
As with Edgar Cayce, Olga Worrall, and other well-known occultists, the predisposition often surfaces during childhood, especially in experiences with spirits. In the book cited above, Jeane Dixon, Eileen Garrett, Irene Hughes, Douglas Johnson, and “Kreskin” (who denies he is a psychic even though he practices automatic writing) also encountered psychic events at a young age.
(The Coming Darkness, 211-212)
Dr. Fodor confirms that even babies and small children of occultists can incur a curse of because of their parents’ sins:
Inherited mediumship usually appears spontaneously and early in life, like artistic gifts. The five-month-old son of Mrs. Kate Fox-Jenken wrote automatically. Raps occurred on his pillow and on the iron railing of his bedstead almost everyday. The seven month-old infant of Mrs. Margaret Cooper gave communications through raps. Aksakof in Animisme et Eperitisme records many instances of infantile mediumship. The child Alward moved tables that were too heavy for her normal strength. The nephew of Seymour wrote automatically when nine days old.
In Bonnemere’s Les Canisards and in Figuier’s Histoire du Merveilleux many cases are quoted of Canisard babies of 14-15 months of age and of infants who preached in French in the purest diction.
(Fodor, Encyclopedia of Psychic Science, 234)
The following is an example of a Christian demonized because of what his ancestors were involved in:
Ex. 47. A Bible student in the Philippines had been a Christian for about one year. As I prayed with him, a rough voice called out of him, ‘He belongs to us. His whole family has belonged to us for more than 200 years.’ ‘No,’ I retorted, ‘he belongs to the Lord Jesus to whom he’s surrendered his life.’ The voices spoke again, ‘That’s not true. His ancestors have subscribed themselves to us. He is ours by right.’ The conversation revealed that the ancestors of this unhappy student had not only practised sorcery, but some of them had even subscribed themselves to the devil with their own blood. This was the reason why, in spite of his conversion, the student had become possessed.
(Occult Bondage and Deliverance, 70-71)
In Demon Possession and the Christian, theologian Dr. C. Fred Dickason details many examples of what occult practices can do to Christians:
I have found this avenue of ancestral involvement to be the chief cause of demonization. Well over 95 percent of more than 400 persons I have contacted in my counseling ministry have been demonized because of their ancestors’ involvement in occult and demonic activities.
(Demon Possession and the Christian, 221)
Not all times do demons go down the bloodline because of the occult. Demonization may occur apart from it:
…a Salvation Army officer who had been born blind and who was brought to a meeting at which Jean Darnall was ministering. A charismatic word of knowledge declared that the man’s blindness was due to an evil spirit which had entered him at birth. He had been born in prison. His father was a criminal and his mother had conspired with him. Criminal or immoral activity can become a vehicle for demonic intrusion, and this was the case for this officer. Following a deliverance prayer by which a spirit was cast out of him, the man saw perfectly for the first time in his life.
(Parker, Battling the Occult, 82)
In the book Battling with Nazi Demons, the Christian author, Werner Oder, gave his testimony of the recurring horrific demonic nightmares, and infirmities he suffered with as child. He was greatly tormented from a monster trying to kill him for many years. As a child, he was physically attacked by an unseen force, even pushed down a flight of stairs and into water (almost killing him). He was also filled with violence, aggression, hatred, and Anti-Semitism. What was it that opened the door for the enemy to attack him in such a way? His earthly father was a Nazi SS officer – a war criminal responsible for the deaths of many innocent lives. It was only when Werner surrendered his life to Christ was he set free from the tormenting nightmares and the spirit of hatred and anti-Semitism.
If you believe you may have evil spirits because of your ancestors and want prayer for deliverance then feel free to reach out to me.
If you don’t know Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior you can receive Him into your heart, and He can deliver you from darkness and sin and have your name written in His Book of Life.
If you are sincere you can say this simple prayer to the Father (it doesn’t have to be word for word):
“God, I recognize that I have not lived my life for You up until now. I have been living for myself and that is wrong. Please forgive me of all of my sins just as I forgive others. I need You in my life; I want You in my life. I acknowledge the completed work of Your only begotten Son Jesus Christ in giving His life for me on the cross, I believe in my heart Jesus is Lord and was raised from the dead and I long to receive the forgiveness you have made freely available to me through this sacrifice. Come into my life now, Lord. Take up residence in my heart and be my king, my Lord, and my Savior. From this day forward, I will no longer be controlled by sin, or the desire to please myself, but I will follow You all the days of my life. Those days are in Your hands. I ask this in the Lord and GOD Jesus’ precious and holy name. Amen.”