Jesus' New Blood Is Our Fresh Start And The Healing Of Family Tree
"Those of you who survive will pine away in their guilt in the countries of their enemies and, bearing the guilt of their ancestors too, will pine away like them, 'Then they shall admit their guilt and that of their ancestors and their infidelities against me, and further setting themselves against me." Leviticus26,39-40.
"Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. 8 let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones you have crushed rejoice. 9 Hide your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquity." Psalm51,7-9.
"For you know that the price of your ransom from the futile way of life handed down from your ancestors was paid, not with anything perishable like silver or gold, but in precious blood as of a blameless and spotless lamb, Christ." 1Peter1,18 NJB
"For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. 4 The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thougth to make it obedient to Christ." 2Corinthians10,3-5.
"The Lord records as he registers the peoples; 'This one was born there [Zion].' Selah 7 Singers and dancers alike say, 'All my [fresh] springs are in you [Zion]." ESV Psalm87,7
Back To The Roots Of Ministry
I'm going back to the very roots of my ministerial service in this sermon.
By the grace of God I came into contact very early with 1Peter1,18 and then Psalm51,7-9 in a charismatic prayer group. You know the kind, the one your church relegates to the basement, or anywhere out of the flow of the quieter "give quickly and go quickly" folks.
And in this group, it became really clear to me that most everyone comes out of family backgrounds that are plagued by some form of idols, which are weaknesses, or as the NJB quoted above puts it plagued with "the futile way of life passed down by your ancestors."
This is not to judge our ancestors, but just to say that in everybody's family tree there is often unconfessed sin, perhaps even a generation that raised a high hand against God. And the effects of this have left following generations with their Spiritual and emotional wheels stuck in the mud and slavish to Pharoah.
The most common way to refer to these weaknesses would be "curses," a type of bondage, which I admit is a little dramatic, but these weaknesses are no joke. The effects of unrepented sin in families is real, and the effects seem to go on and on, from generation to generation. But when we keep applying the faith to these weaknesses and applying Jesus' eternal blood, these curses are loosed, the bonds are broken, and the captives are set free.
If your family doesn't have such idols or weaknesses, and does not suffer from the "futile way... passed down," praise Jesus. Perhaps, you have been blessed with generations of saving faith. But my pastoral experience is that generation after generation of saving faith in families is the exception, under 5% of all families would be my guess.
His Light And Blood Brought To Futile Ways
And sometimes this futile way of life in families becomes a "sacred cow," something off limits, a dark place that it is verboten. Well who does that serve? It serves the world, the devil and the flesh, by putting God's people in bondage. No we shine the light of Christ on all darkness, even if it's in the privacy of our own faith, and interaction with God, and the confidential privacy of a pastor with his people.
A common way to describe this reality in the spirit realm is that certain "curses" or "familiar spirits" repeat themselves, and make a pest of themselves in familes, even plague them, like a recessive Spiritual gene, a weakness that prevents folks from gaining full health and freedom in the physical, Spiritual, emotional and mental realm.
Another way to describe this "futile way of life handed down from your ancestors" would be to say that certain demons run in families. But whatever way we describe this "futile way passed down," the larger point is that both good and evil gets passed down in families. And we praise God for the good things that get passed down, but there are also ways that hinder and block and impede our growth in the faith.
And we forgive ancestors for passing these sins down. Forgiving everyone is a spiritual law in biblical Christianity. If we don't forgive, our heavenly Father won't forgive us. That's the gospel, and here we preach the whole gospel.
Another way would be to say that one's family has lived and tacitly or explictly accepted mental "strongholds" like pride and greed and foolishness that are directly against God and His word. These mental and spiritual strongholds have to be pulled down by a powerful application of faith, a faith so real that it releases the cleansing and healing of the Holy Ghost and frees us from all mental and spiritual bondage. The stronghold of foolishness is just running rampant in our culture. It is behind the drug epidemic. It is a spirit, and a demon, and a mental stronghold, and a curse in families that has many folks, otherwise rational, and capable of holding down jobs, thumbing their noses at God's word and His laws and ignoring the real and lasting consequences of sins in families.
A Big Subject And We're Really Sensitive
All these descriptions- "futile way of life," "curses," "strongholds," "demons" amplify 1Peter1,18, "futile way of life handed down from your ancestors." As we move through this sermon we'll realize that there are a lot of spiritual and human dynamics that go into a phrase like "futile way of life passed down by your ancestors." Sometimes the bible is very diplomatic. It doesn't want to scare us, and this is one of those times, and neither will this sermon. But there is a lot of revelation to be found in this phrase, it's chock full of revelation, it's a big subject and has to be unpacked, rather than avoided. Nothing good can come from avoiding the Word of God.
Some churches are not equipped in this kind of healing or healing the family tree. And that's understandable, modern churches like to work off of neat models, and zero in on the demographics of their memebers, and preach what fills the seats. But there is a ceratin percentage of folks coming to churches and they don't fit in to a neat demographic, and they often need more than just attending a church and listening to sermons to get healthy. More than another sermon, they need healing, and encouragement that God understands the cry of their heart to be whole, and that there are faith servants that can address their needs for healing in general, and need for healing in their families.
In this area of healing in families, we will come to appreciate that we human beings are made by God to be really sensitive to our environmental surroundings, particularly our family environments. The fact is we just soak up the good in our families, or the bad too. And there are holes in many peoples past, and perhaps present family environments, that only God's gentle healing and Spiritual nature can fill.
Sensitive is the way we human beings are made. We're sensitive to being trained up in the right way, and sensitive to being led away from salvation. As we enter adulthood in our faith, we can either learn the weapons of our spiritual warfare, like a living faith that applies the promises to our daily life, prayer about all things, asking and receiving, living the word, deliverance from demons (Derek Prince said 75% of Pentecostals have demons), anointed worship, and the distinct experience Holy Ghost baptism. If we don't learn these weapons, our old nature can take us backward toward acting out the futile aspects passed down by our ancestors that lead us away from salvation.
Virtue and Sin Most Influential When It Refers To Our Own Conduct
I'm going to propose a long list of these "curses" or "futile" ways in just a bit. But before that, here at the outset, I want to zero in on the phrase "futile way of life" to point out that the passing down of this way in families is not automatic or genetic, as if it were a physical or genetic defect. This "futile way of life" is defined by Thayer's Greek Lexicon as "given to vain things leading away from salvation." A "vain" thing is a worthless thing, a foolish thing. This way of life is predisposed to futile ways based on the habits, culture and sin that run in families, all of which is more or less passed down, and leads to conduct taught, in one way or another, from one generation to another.
And then that same conduct is carried out by the following generation.
Ultimately, when we're talking about a "futile way of life" we are talking about what we're taught in a family. And, or about somebody's conduct against us, or our sinful conduct against others and ourselves. Sinning against others always also involves acting against our own best self interest. Sin isn't just acting against God, or someone else, it's against our own self interest too. That's the fullest definition of futility, acting in ways that betray and defeat ourselves and our families. None of us wants to act in a way that betrays and defeats our own families.
When we speak of "conduct," we are talking in terms of responsibility. And the biblical fact is that we are all responsible for our own sins, even those prompted or taught by the habits and predispositions and curses passed down in families, even given that our families culture might make us susceptible and weak in those areas.
Another way of making this point about responsibility is to say that punishment for sin primarily attaches based on our own conduct: "the wages of sin are death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans6,23).
This is not to say that sin and errant strongholds and sins taught and done in families don''t cause real harm and lead folks astray. They do, and sometimes a present generation person gets bound up in the sin or weakness of a prior ancestor. But generally speaking, just like virtue and the Holy Ghost infilling attaches when we individually act upon and live the promises of God, so does punishment and debility when we sin.
That doesn't mean that sins committed by previous generations in families have no influence in the futile conduct passed down, they most certainly do. Sometimes a present generation gets bound up in the punishment, guilt or even same sin or weakness of a prior ancestor. Sins and futile conduct in previous generations grease the slide into sin so to speak. But, God is always fair and loving, the most moral and spiritual and soul damage attaches when we ourselves go along with the sin passed down. The most damage occurs when we agree with the stronghold and express sinful conduct accordingly.
Keep Our Eyes On Jesus' Healing Promises Not Our Emotions And Soulish Sympathy
I say this because sometimes when we enter into this sensitive area of healing and deliverance in families, and healing and deliverance in general, we are perhaps tempted to be so sympathetic with others, and ourselves as in need of healing, that we forget our own part in agreeing and doing the sins being passed down. Jesus understands why we do things, and the origins of futile conduct in families, but as we know from his word, sins are sins and individual responsibilty and punishment attaches to the individual committing sin. We can shift the responsibility and punishment to no one for the sins we commit even when we are mis-informed or prone to the futile way and conduct passed down.
Moreover, we cannot get too wrapped up in the emotions of our sins, and the emotions of sins against us, or the facts and details of the futile ways, that we forget the liberation promised us at 1Peter1,18. This verse clearly states that the price of our ransom from these futile ways, these "curses" was paid by His precious blood. So in all our faith and ministry, we must remember that the promise of this verse is bigger than any sin, any futile way of life, any problem, any curse, any emotion in a family, past, present and future.
Again this promise is that our personal faith coupled with Jesus' everflowing blood (John19,34) frees us, delivers us from this futile conduct, of these curses, of these familiar spirits, of these demons, passed down in families. And then once delivered from the futile conduct, we are freed to have God heal the damaged and unwholesome emotions, whatever they might be, that have attached themselves to the futile conduct passed down, that have attached to unforgiveness and any other sin that is bound to it. If we don't conciously remember the promise of healing in this verse, the temptation is to just wallow in these negative emotions, or blame folks, end relationships, live the consequences of the sins, and finger point too much. And thus our freedom in faith, a freedom that comes from just a mustard sized faith, gets stuck in emotional baggage and unforgiveness. This is no bueno.
Again, what is of prime importance is that we focus on the promise and healing reality of this word, and that of our loving Jesus, and trust that we are truly washed and freed from all iniquity by our personal faith. Our emotions sooner or later will catch up to our faithing on the promises, praise the lord. Our emotions will sooner or later catch up with the joy of Holy Ghost that is part of the life of those that live by faith, that act on the promises of the Word. But we can't wait to do and follow the Word and Spirit until our emotions are all the way healed. (Or, wait until we are all baptized in the Spirit. For some folks, holy Ghost baptism may be diffcicult to receive prior to the healing moment Jesus has planned for all who are in need.) We are called to live the Word and Spirit now.
And we trust God's promise "Whom the Son sets us free is free indeed." John8,36 This verse in relation to healing of family tree means God will finish our salvation, and provide lasting healing, as we continue to live by faith.
Only Jesus, and faith in him, and His washing blood can liberate us from the futile way of life passed down, break the chains, and set everybody in a family free, one at a time.
As David prophesied in Psalm51,7-9: "Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me and I will be whiter than snow. 8 Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones you have crushed rejoice. 9 Hide your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquity."
Praise Jesus the cleansing blood of Jesus really cleanses and really frees us from whatever iniquity, whatever curse, whatever demon, whatever strongholds wherever found.
Healing Family Tree
What we did for healing in that prayer group was have everybody write up a family tree, not with actual names, but a tree of the sins with the apparent curses of their ancestors, the one's passed down. It's amazing how popular web sites about ancesters are. I too occasionally like to talk about 'the good old days' and relatives and all that, but 1Timothy1,4 says we don't get all wrapped up in endles genealogies. We don't get into ancestor worship, like some ancient and modern religions and cultures, and some families do. That is, we live our faith for today, in the present, with our brothers and sisters in the faith, where-ever they come from, and our families too. There is no way to live by faith with our minds stuck on the past and "in the good old days."
Our salvation is won or lost in the present. You go the library, you see people at Ancestry.com making family trees, every day studying their family, as if everybody in the family were a saint or an angel, on paper anyway. What do I know, but my experience in ministry and the word of God tells me that this is not always the case.
I think this idea of doing a healing of everyone's family tree came from a book by English medical doctor, turned Psychiatrist, Kenneth McAll who wrote "A Guide to Healing The Family Tree" originally published by Sheldon Press in London in 1982 (with several reprints) and then republished in 1996 by Queenship Publishing, and again 2013. There were also other pastors doing work in this area. John Hampsch wrote "Healing Your Family Tree" in 1986. Robert DeGrandis and Linda Schubert wrote "Intergenerational Healing: An Intimate Journey Into Forgiveness" in 1989. Dr. Francis MacNutt a Dominican monk who was also very involved with healing within the Charismatic Movement in the nineteen seventies and eighties. Back then this movement was powerful, and very ecumenical, and included all sorts of denominations. It was a day when Catholic and Protestant were happy to get together regarding healing and worship, but then Catholics starting leaving in droves after a big rally at Notre Dame, and that ended the worshipping together.
The Protestant Charismatics loved the highly educated and gifted Francis MacNutt, and spread his teachings. And then he got married in 1980 and had two children, Rachel and David. And then, praise God, the Protestants gave him places to teach and preach. He got married, what a blessing. You can take the monk out of the man, but you can't take the man out of the monk. He wrote "Deliverance From Evil Spirits" in 1995 (Chosen Press) and set up "Christian Healing Ministries" in Florida with his wife Judith that still carries on to this day.
Anyway in this prayer group we had folks write up the sins and weaknesses in their family tree and they hung on to them (leaders don't need to see them, God does) and then they 'brought them to the altar,' and I think we later burned them up, and also by the power of the Holy Ghost! This was a type of confession for those sins, and we'll get to the scriptures on that. Praise Jesus we were just simple Christians doing simple faithful things. We did not have much idea of the actual Spiritual warfare that was being worked out by God in the spirit realm. But we applied the ever living, ever flowing blood of Jesus, applied our faith to the liberation of families, and the miracles of liberation happened. When we come with a simple faith, miracles and signs and wonders follow, for God is the same today as he was yesterday and always.
Looking back in ministry I've learned that Jesus really blesses ministry that presents the gospel to the whole community, by ministry that also blesses those outside the church too, like healing of family trees. Or, mininstry like visiting prisoners in jail, where they really need help.
And I've also learned that when we engage in ministries where the need is so obvious, these tend to be the easiest, because starving folks just want to eat, not caring much about the menu. When folks are starving the food doesn't have to be dainty, just good simple solid food. In these type of ministries, with great need, all you have to do is be willing, and then show up, and allow the Holy Ghost to guide. That's how badly God wants these forgotten and unsexy ministries done.
Healing of marriages also can happen from healing of the family tree. How many marriages could be saved if one spouse finally learns that they are just carrying on a futile way of life handed down from a previous generation, and learns that Jesus can change that, and they don't have to act that way. How man marriages drown by a constant drip in the bath tub? After people turn on each other. And praise the Lord Jesus can change a marriage for the better by healing one's family tree. Families and marriages can be saved, by healing the family tree, praise Jesus.
Anyway, in that little charismatic prayer group many families and individuals were healed from being liberated from the curses and futile conduct and way passed down. I'd be happy to minister something like this for your family and or church. If you are intrested we can both pray about that and how to make it happen.
What are some of these curses or "futile ways" passed down from generation to generation?
2. Tobacco Addiction;
6. Emotional-Verbal Abuse;
7. Sexual-Physical Abuse;
8. Wasting Money;
10. Gender-Father-Mother-Humanity Lack, or both (Sinead O'Connor sings " 'This is to mother you' to comfort you and get you through.");
15. Pride-Superiority- Hatred;
18. Codependance-soul ties;
21. Broken Relationships, "D-I-V-O-R-C-E" as Tammy Wynette put it.
Diagnosis And Naming Less Important Than Faith
Forgive me if this list sounds a little clinical, but it isn't. The list could be a lot longer and include lots of other things. And rest assured some of these things could surely go by other names that readily come to your mind. And while it's helpful for us to be able to use words and agree on a rough Spiritual diagnosis, through the discernment of the Holy Ghost, and name the demons and strongholds in all areas of healing, the lion's share of all healing, and all it's supernatural power, is done by God himself. He can make straight lines our of our less than perfect means to communicate. Identifying the curses, demons, strongholds by name is often sort of important, but not nearly as important as our applying our mustard sized faith, which activates all that our supernatural Jesus can do.
The example the Lord gave as to naming and diagnosis when it comes to healing curses and demons and all the rest is like this. You get a splinter, and you can't get it out. Seems like such a little thing, but it hurts and hurts. And you don't if it's wood or metal, or glass, or stone, some combination. Sometimes we don't even know how that splinter got there. But you do know it's in there for sure, and then you focus on it, and by God's help you get it out.
Perhaps only later do you fully realize exactly what it was.
Attacking the problem with a mustard' seed sized faith in healing is more important than the exact name and all the circumstances of the problem. Though sometimes the more you know, facts and history (all on a Holy Ghost provided need-to-know basis pursuant only to the healing grace at hand), the more you can discern from the Holy Spirit and help folks
Teaching and preparation in the area of healing and deliverance has gotten better as the folks mentioned above and Dr. Charles Kraft from Fuller Theological Seminary, and others, have taught in this area. Dr. Kraft's wrote "Deep Wounds, Deep Healing" (Regal Publishing republished 2010). It's so important to have solid and detailed teachings from a cross-section of people experienced in healing. Healing will never be a science. I'm not a Christian Scientist. I'm not a follower of any other faith teacher, but Jesus. I'll read somebody's elses' stuff, but I follow Jesus and the Word, only. I'm a bible believer, who saw miracles in my own life, who then got baptized in the Spirit, and now sometimes anyway, is simple enough to take God at his word when it comes to healing.
Did you know that Charles Kraft was born in Waterbury Connecticut? Just up the road from us. I like Waterbury because most Waterbury folks are still humble enough to have a place for the real God of the bible in their lives. And I'm trusting that a lot of good comes out of there, for the glory of the Lord.
This list and subject may seem a little clinical, but so often in our faith lives, before good things happen we need to see things in a fresh, and a more objective, and biblical way. Discernment is objective, and a non emotional view, and objectivity allows us a non judgmental starting point whereby we can begin to understand where we came from spiritually. Sometimes an understanding where we came from spiritually helps us to get to the holiness and freedom and service point where God wants to take us.
Paul counsels us to put on "the mind of Christ" and make no provisions for the flesh. This verse means alot, and neither he, or any mature Christian alive today, would think this easy. But here in this sermon this verse means that as faithful bible believers, guided by the word and Spirit, with the mind of Christ, we are entirely capable of identifying the ancestral mental and spiritual strongholds that are "stinking thinking" and acting, identifying any futile way of life inherited from a prior generation. If these strongholds etcetera are left untreated by the Spirit of God, they will most likely will pass right into the next generation, our kids, just as easily as one duck bobs under water, and then another does the same thing.
No parent wants to pass on a "futile way of life" to his or her children, I know that. But the fact is God's word says it happens, and any pastor, or policemen, or judge, or mental health counsellor knows this too. So it's OK once in awhile in our faith to take an objective view, a Spiritual check up, of where we came from.
From The Fallen Human Nature Of Adam To Individual Responsibility And Health After The Washing Of Christ's Blood
Now I'd like to take a little bible excursion through the Hebrew scriptures and develop God's idea of individual responsibility in relation to individual salvation in families, and ultimately healing from familial curses and whatever hinders us. This individual focus especially serves in the area of family healing because it helps folks in need sort out the spiritual nature of their background, and where they came from and then by faith apply the ever fresh blood of Jesus to areas of need in theor own lives and those of their family.
As I've studied the bible, and prayed about this sermon, I realize that God has always promoted individual responsibility, and individual salvation in families, though He won't tolerate a family setting themselves up as a god, and we'll see this clearly as we go along. This sermon will hopefully de-mystify the idea of curses as being automatic in families, and thereby help get them blotted out like David's sin, blotted out by the blood of the lamb.
At first glance individual responsibility regarding salvation seems like a burden, wouldn't it be easier to leave our responsibility and salvation up to our daddy, or our auntie, or our rabbi, or our priest, or our faithful but deceased grandparents. But we know from the entire word of God, both the Hebrew scriptures and New Testament, that it is individual responsibility and individual faith, and later for us Christians the blood of Jesus, that sets us free. And when the son sets us free we are free indeed.
All the way free.
The Case of Adam And Eve And Cain
Bible Christians believe that when Adam gave in to Eve's temptations to eat of the tree of good and evil, humankind inherited death and a predisposition to sin. His conduct led to a curse on him and the rest of humankind, seemingly like the the futile way of life passed down in families.
We didn't ask to be born into the human family, or a particular family, predisposed to sin, with its futile way of life, but that's the way it is. Genesis3,17-19 tells us we all, and thus our families too, are predisposed to the curses and punishments of sin:
"To Adam he said, 'because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree about which I commanded you, You must not eat of it,' 'Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life. 18 It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. 19 By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground [death]..."
One of Adam's sons, Cain, copied from his parents' disobedience and lack of enthusiasm regarding God. His offering of his agricultural firstfruits lacked something, especially in comparison to His brother Abel's animal blood sacrifice. Abel was more obedient, and it seemed as if God favored him more than Cain. But the Lord answers this charge of favoritism by God in familes at Genesis 4,6-7: "Then the Lord said to Cain, "Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it." Cain was sinning and cutting corners in his worship of the Lord, others might not have seen it, but God knew it.
With a fallen human nature it is hard to master sin, which crouches nearby, and gets passed down in families just like Adam and Eve passed down a lack of excitement and joy about serving the Lord and following his commands. And Cain paid the price for following their prior bad example and his own predisposition to sin. His punishment was that he would wander alone (Genesis4,11-12) and never fully enjoy the human fellowship that God wants with us, and that we would have in families and society, a fellowship that is fully realized by our faith in Jesus and the Holy Ghost baptism that faith brings.
The sin of Adam and Eve, and the resultant sin of Cain, right from the begining of bible revelation, points out that sin leads to iniquity in families, and that this iniquity gets passed down once and again in families.
The Case Of Lamech And Noah
At Genesis5,29 Lamech is overjoyed with the birth of his son, and he names him "Noah," which in Hebrew means "consolation." And with this name Lamech hopes that Noah would be able to overcome the curse on the land and toil of it from Adam and Eve. Names are very important in the bible and often tell us the faith mindset of both the parents and God: "He gave him the name Noah because he said, 'Here is the one who will give us, in the midst of our toil and the labouring of our hands, a consolation out of the very soil that Yahweh cursed."
Lamech by naming Noah hoped that "Noah" would free his family and be a savior, a liberator from a curse. In this Noah prefigured Jesus and his precious blood.
We don't know much else about Lamech but we do know from Genesis6,18 that he wasn't on the ark, and that God made a covenant not with him, but with Noah. Just the family of Noah, with Noah as the head, was on the ark. God started fresh and made Noah "Big Daddy." God started fresh with Noah and fresh with the flood waters of death or life, just like Jesus starts fresh with each of us with his blood and our adult water baptism, that begins a fresh covenant with each of us. http://www.zionpentecostmission.com/one-baptism-one-eternal-covenant-with-jesus.html
My friends we're going to see this pattern over and over-whereby God deals with individuals, not just as sons and daughters, and we saw with Cain, ie Cain "if you do right..." God went and talked to Cain directly. God didn't blame it on His dad or mom. This pattern of dealing primarily with individuals continues with Noah with whom God started fresh, only his family on the boat, from Noah onwards.
The Mosaic law, with the covenantal rite of circumcision, seems to suggest that God deals with Israel politically as a whole, as a nation, not just as individuals. True enough, Israel in 1948 was saved as a nation. But as to individual salvation, from a Christian biblical perspective, He will deal individually with Jews, individually, according to their individual faith, after the prophecy of Zechariah12,10, comes true. After they as a nation, as the circumcized, "look upon," amidst a spirit of grace and supplication, "the one they have pierced," and after the testimony of the two witnesses to them per Revelation11. ThenHe will deal with them individually as he always has done, not just as a political family. The nation will bring Israel to salvation, like a family can bring a member of it to salvation, but salvation will be an individual pact with Jesus.
What's important is to realize for our topic here is this: once and again individual faith and responsibility, and sorting our one's family tree, leads to individual freedom from the curses passed down in families.
And Lamech in all likelihood was a good man, who died before the flood, but God said to Noah and about Noah, Genesis7,1 "Go aboard the ark, you and your household, for you alone of your contemporaries do I see before me as an upright man." God looked for an indivdual to represent him in salvation and will finally judge us as individuals. He wasn't the least bit interested in the righteousness of Lamech in relation to the righteousness of Noah. He just began again with Noah, an individual. He wants to free individuals, from their own sin, or sin in their families, or wherever.
Then and only then, like Noah, can we represent well and become the healthy and robust servants that He wants.
We migth have good fathers like Lamech, but from the story of Noah, we know God wants to begin fresh with each of us, make us especially righteous and gifted. Nobody else in Noah's family on the boat had to be righteous, just Noah. Noah was the clan leader, the family leader and he covered for the rest of them, but that too is going to explicitly change as we will later see in Ezekiel18, and into the New Covenant. In our New Covenant we know that salvation begins with a personal faith, John3,16, not the faith of the clan leader, or the family leader, or the king, or the High Priest, but whomsoever will believe will be saved! Praise Jesus, for his mercy and justice, and love for each of us, and for all humankind.
We are not saved because of our father's righteousness, nor are we damned by a father's unrighteousness, or responsbile for our family's sin. We're made righteous by faith and responsible for our individual sins. Likewise, if we're in family that is plagued b futile ways and conduct, and debts to Satan, and Satan has some jurisdictional turf there, because of ongoing sin or unconfessed sin, the remedy is personal faith and responsibility unto our individual liberation. I meet people who want to save their families, that's a good and noble aspiration. But our only savior and theirs is Jesus. We need to get our own individual salvation in order, our our freedom first, and then we can witness to our freedom in Jesus to our family. Then we can be used as a witness in our unsaved family, and watch God break their stubborn hearts and come to Jesus, come to liberation in repentant faith.
Anyway, with both Cain and Noah we see that we are each responsible for our own sins, and punished or liberated based on our own righteousness or unrighteousness. It's not the good or evil of our ancestors, but our own faith and conduct.
The Case of Father Terah And Son Abraham- Freed From Idolatry
We don't know much about Abraham's father "Terah" but Joshua 24,2 and Genesis11 through 12,1ff tell us some very revealing truths. These scriptures say that Terah originally was from Ur of Chaldees (Iraq), a place where they worshipped many gods, and so did Terah. So God had to break that curse, that idol, that "futile way of life" that was going to be passed right down to Abraham.
Abraham would not have become the father of the faithful, and have many sons and daughters, as the song says, if this curse was not broken. This "many gods" idol is the same one passed down from parents to children today. Parents might have a little devotion to Jesus, especially when it serves and is politic, but they also worship every local god, every local strongman, every principality of greed, every pol handing our favors. The idol or many gods- it gets handed down to the next generation- unless we allow Jesus' ever fresh blood break this futile way.
What was God's remedy to educate Abraham and bring him out of polytheism, a futile way of life? There were several strategies. First, a geographic strategy- get Terah and Abraham out of Ur of Chaldees and bring them to Canaan, the promised land, where God would dwell with them and teach them. Terah wasn't opposed to doing his part. But being a polytheist, he only got his family as far as Haran, that is Turkey today, and he settled there.
Polytheists can only take their families so close to God. It's hit or miss, with polythesists, one day they listen to this god and the next day that god, this statue one day, the town crier day and fulano de tal the next, then the local strongman, and so on. Or, folks mix and match a word from their false gods and a verse from the God of the bible with superstition, and with a horscope drizzled over. Polytheism and syncretism, a melting pot of beliefs, all synthesized, which is confusion.
Polytheist fathers can't get us to the promised land, only God can.
God's second strategy was a personal call on Abram's life, same as Jesus calls us personally, one by one, whether we come from a family full of idols or a family that half way knows God, or even a family that knows God. Pastors, often come from families that know God, but they are not called by their families, but by God individually. This call of Abraham included the explicit requirement that he leave Haran, and leave his father's house, just like we are told by 1Peter1,18 to leave off the non biblical futile conduct passed down in our families. Genesis12,1ff depicts this God's second strategy, the one that won out, an individual strategy, to free Abraham:
'Yahweh said to Abraham, 'Leave your country, your kindred and your father's house for a country which I shall show you; 2 and I shall make you a great nation, I shall bless you and make your name famous; you are to be a blessing."
We love our families, and who are we to judge them? And the word says "honor your father and mother, and live long in the land." (Exodus20,12) This is a commandment comes with a blessing! Or a curse. But God was doing something fresh and new with Noah and Abraham, starting them fresh, with a new family a new household. Their families hadn't gotten to the land of Israel yet.
We Christians all have this same start fresh call of God on our lives, when we apply the everflowing blood, oh wash me Lord, and as David cried out "I," not we, "I" will be whiter than snow!
Will you, you individual you, be whiter than snow?
Oh praise the Lord you are all getting this I know. This can set you free.
It's not that we don't love our families, but God wants us free from the futile conduct, that distances us from our salvation and Him, that prevents us from gaining the promised land.
So in Cain, Noah and Abraham we see that both God's blessings and curses flow from the top down in families. And God, for whatever reason, has no hesitation in starting fresh with us whenever He wants to. Just as a married man leaves his father and mother and cleaves to his beloved wife (Genesis2,24), and starts fresh with a new family. "You cannot cleave if you do not leave." So likewise when we by faith are ready to leave the futile ways in our families Jesus will break any ungodly ties that bind and replace them with new people and new ties like faith, hope, and love, and Holy Ghost fellowship, and worship.
There will be a time when we'll be able to witness to our families, perhaps go off on misson too, but first we have to get all that is free and healthy in our salvation as individuals.
But God Defines Himself In Terms Of Sin's Punishment In Families
With the patriarch Moses things get a little heavier and apparently more complicated. With Moses, and through Moses on Sinai, Israel becomes a better formed people, a people unified by both the already practiced covenant of physical circumcision, and the prized gift of the law, God's word. The Lord God was very gracious in offering this Law-Word covenant salvation to Israel. He told them what He wanted of them, and how to please and worship him, and what to do and not to do, right and wrong. So, think about it, our good and gracious God had every right to from now on be more demanding of his chosen people- because He wrote his word is stone and gave it to them. And He agreed to protect and nourish and guide and love and save, so long as they followed their side of the deal, and did not sin.
At Exodus34,6-7 God personally passes in front of Moses and defines himself in these solemn, gracious and even shocking covenantal terms, terms that involve the threat and reality of unprepentant sin being passed down in families. We note that the unrepentant sin in families here in Exodus 34, that brings generational curses, is the same as the unrepentant "futile way of life passed down" referred to at 1Peter1,18:
"Then the Lord passed by in front of him and proclaimed 'The Lord, the Lord God, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in lovingkindness and truth; 7 who keeps loving kindness for thousands, who forgives iniquity [in families too] transgression and sin; yet He will by no means leave the guilty [the unrepentant] unpunished, visiting the [unrepented] iniquity of fathers on the children to the third and fourth generation."
Let's not panic. We read a scripture like this and we might think we're doomed. No, we're not doomed. But God had every right to expect better conduct and ongoing repentance from his people and his families after he has spelled out his covenant, and wrote his laws in stone, and put them in front of us. You know the law, you know when you break it. When you do, you must repent, or that futile conduct is just going to run right into the next generation, and if unrepentant there, into the next generation, and the next, to the third and fourth generation.
In other words, God is not going to graciously show and share his moral and spiritual laws and then be mocked by a family, a family that knows His laws, yet still ignores them. Why wouldn't God just overlook this this? Because when we know God's laws and strut around claiming the benefits of his protections, and then set up our own futile family law, and way of doing things, this surpasses our Lord's tolerance. Who hasn't heard of or felt the reality of family claiming its own laws "This is the way we do it in this family!" Susbstituting a family law for God's law, when you already know God's law, and claim to believe and be protected, is something that gracious and good God will not abide. He will not abide the high handed passing down a futile way in a family.
We have all seen it families and cultures sometimes set up their own moral and spiritual laws, and then want to claim the real God of Israel as window dressing too, and how could this go unpunished by God?
We sort of touched on this need to conform to God's law, not the laws of our fallen nature in our recent two part series on James1,21 "Accept The Word Unto Living The New Interior law." We Christians have the ability to live the new law because of the Holy Ghost living inside us. We have a "new law" in us. Israel and the families that comprised it knew the law, but they couldn't live it. But they knew enough to repent when they broke it, and God will not allow unrepentant lawbreaking from generation to generation to go unpunished.
This verse from Exodus 34 does not mean repentant sinners get punished for the sins of their ancestors, though sometimes it might feel like that. We'll get to this in Ezekiel 18, have patience dearly chosen of God.
You and I both know families where this same verse is still being enforced by God, because their futile conduct has never been repented of in any generation, whether "Christian" or whatever. One of the most interesting parts of the Mormon religion is that they get baptized for their dead relatives. I like Mormons, but I think we are all given time and grace and opportunities to know God in our own lives, so I don't think this "proxy baptism" is bible kosher. I understand where they are coming from, but I think they take their baptism theology, which they and we know is important to our covenant with our Lord, one step too far here.
But I agree with the general thrust of their thinking about the power of God to set people free, in that I believe that by bringing and confessing our ancestors' hang ups and sins to the Spiritual blood of Jesus, to the risen Jesus, that healing happens in families.
Leviticus26,40: 'But at last my people will confess their sins and the sins of their ancestors for betraying me and being hostile toward me." Why would God demand that living folks confess the sins of dead kinfolk if the dead kinfolks' sins were not still tying up and manifesting in the living folks?
No they are manifesting in the living folks!
Are we getting this, there is a reality of sins being passed down in families.
And sometimes there are ties and bondages that need to be broken.
At Nehemiah9,2 when the Jews came back to Judah from Babylonian exile after 540BC, we learn that the people did exactly this, almost a thousand years after they received the law in Leviticus26,40.
Moreover, and stay with me, we use the word to interpret the Word, the Word also says Jesus was "a lamb slain before the foundation of the world." (Revelation13,8). This means the Lord God of Israel always had His saving and liberating blood on his merciful and saving mind. And John19,34 depicts a vision of this ever flowing blood, a vision as we have said that is very important as to how we see the Spiritual blood, the blessed wine-blood of the Lord's Supper. This is ever flowing, "eternal" blood is also always a healing blood, and wher we bring our sins, and the sins of our ancestors according to 1Peter1,18.
This is the eternal Spiritual "blood" of Calvary. He has no more physical blood, and this Spiritual everflowing blood breaks the futile way of life passed down in familes, the ungodly soul ties, and demonic logjams, and emotional stumbling blocks in families, the foolish mental strongholds, the witchcrafts, the idols, the curses, you name it, somebody praise His loving Name and healing nature! Somebody praise Him for the ever flowing blood! Somebody praise the lamb slain before the foundation of the world, for our salvation and liberation from the futile way of life passed down in families.
And praise the Lord we each have a fresh start in Jesus. Oh our God is so fair, and just, and merciful to grant us that. Our God of Israel knows and loves our families, and they will always be important in our protection and faith formation, but our God is bigger than any family's blessings or curses.
Ezekiel Preaches Individual Salvation Amidst Failures Of Leaders
We have all heard the saying "all for one and one for all."
When righteousness falls in a nation, or family, or a church, it's tempting to think that if the group can just find one good person, that person will save the whole group. This temptation could be found in a family when one person or child is looked at as "savior," or one national political leader is looked upon as savior of the whole unrighteous group. This looking for a national savior happens every four years in the good old USA, and just when we think we can't stomach this savior merry-go-round ever again, it gets sold to us again, because of this, that or the other.
The group could be of circumcized Israelites, or Christian churchgoers, or an American citizens. For example, religious folks might say, not knowing any better, "I don't know much about God, but I come to church and I trust my pastor, and the hierarchy of my church."
As if the pastor, or an officer in their church, were their salvation.
This is sort of like what some of the folks told Jesus at Matthew3,9 , "we have Abraham as our father" claiming to be true sons of faith, but Jesus knew better. So he points out that the rocks of Temple were more likely to rise up as faithful sons of Abraham than they were.
Church associations, and families, and their religious traditions do not save us. So, while biological families give us the very real blessing of life, sometimes they get in the way of our salvation and freedom in Jesus.
What saves us and frees us is individual repentant faith given as a free gift of the Lord.
Now cultural and national and familial and religious solidarity are four very good things, and not in great supply. Oh what a better country we would have if we had more solidarity in all these areas, and in families too. But just being part of a religious group or biological family is not salvation. The prophet Ezekiel was the son of priest, Buzi, part of a very important family, and the very important group of Temple priests. He could have claimed his priestly status and power and lived off that, made that felt in his writings, and perhaps even tried to claim salvation from that. Furthermore, as a prophet too, he was a leading representative of the people and His Jewish religion. With all his status, he might have been tempted to just tell the people "we prophets know better, you'll just have to fend for yourselves."
He could have said like the traditionalists in Jesus' day "We have Abraham and the temple and the traditions, that's enough."
But as a true servant, he knew better. And because he knew better his message at Ezekiel 18 was one of individual responsibility, unto personal freedom. He told the people "the soul who sins will die." Ezekiel is preaching Individual responsiblity, that leads to individual salvation, which includes according to 1Peter1,18 liberation from the futile conduct passed down in families. We accept the good in families, but Ezekiel prompted Israel to let go of the idea that one's family or religious status as a circumcized Jew, or son of a rightoeous man, translated into personal salvation and healing.
There is a temptation in all religions to preach "all for one and one for all" that is, if just one of our group members, say in a family or nation or priesthood, is holy and righteous the rest of us can sneak in, get in free." Like the wayward child might expect dad can bail him or her out of everything. Ezekiel attackes the idea that one mere man can save another, the idea if the father's righteous, the son's automatically righteous. He's attacking the idea that if we think the priest and prophet are righteous, then the people must be righteous, and we can rest in that.
Ezekiel at 18,1ff takes dead and final aim at these false teachings, and by doing so sets the policy for the New Testament too, 600 years before Jesus:
"What do you people mean by quoting the proverb about the land of Israel: 'The fathers eat sour grapes, and the children's teeth are set on edge? 3 As surely as I live, declares the sovereign Lord, you will no longer quote this proverb in Israel. 4 For every living soul belongs to me, the father as well as the son- both alike belong to me. The soul who sins is the one who will die."
This proverb was like "all for one and one for all," and it was quoted to claim salvation from mere circumcision, from just being an Israelite, even without being a righteous and faithful. This proverb, apparently, was also used explain away, and joke away, the negative effects of sins in families, as if it's assumed that a son will commit the same sins as his father.
The NIV study bible, in it's footnote, rightly notes that this proverb expresses "self pity, fatalism and despair."
Lamentations5,6-7 amdist the sadness of Babylonian exile of 586BC makes this 'sink or swim together' attitude plain: "We made a [false covenant] pact with Egypt [king of Judah did, before Babylonian exile], with Assyria [when they were supposed to keep their God ordained covenant with big daddy Babylon] our ancestors sinned; they are no more, and we bear the weight of their guilt."
Sins of leaders do have consequnces on others.
Ezekiel at Chapter 17,3ff speaks of this very betrayal of Babylon, by the doubledealing king of Judah, and most of the nation knows and thinks that their exile is direct punishment, visited on the nation, applying the king's guilt on them all.
And in some senses it was. When a leader in any walk of life, even today, exchanges a good Godly policy for a bad man-made policy, people can suffer and even die. So a leader's bad choice, just like in a family, can have direct and lasting consequences for the group, even life or death.
But Ezekiel sees a better and new day, a day of salvation, when only the soul who sins, who is unrighteous, will eternally die!
Here in chapter 18 Ezekiel goes on with a long example of a righteous father not bearing the sins of his violent son, and contrariwise the righteous son who does not bear the sins of the unrighteous father. That's 1Peter1,18, that's health and liberation.
This is important because there's a lot of guilt tripping, and blame shifting in families and nations, and this family and guilt guilt comes right into the church, and sometimes nobody ever gets to the unrepentant sin as the bottom of it, and then there's a lack of freedom in the manner of life of the family and the church too.
Do you have denial, shame and deceit about in your family tree? If so, mayby you're carrying somebody elses' baggage too, mayby your teeth are chattering, felt and lived the ill effects, but your soul is not going to die save for your own unrepented sin. Ezekiel said no more will the people's souls die because the king himself broke covenant with Babylon, and put most everybody in exile. He's saying that when a previous generation sins only the soul of the unrepentant sinner dies.
Ezekiel18,20-22 "The soul who sins is the one who will die. The son will not share the guilt of the father and the father will not share the guilt of the son. The righteousness of the righteous man will be credited to him, and the wickedness of the wicked man will be charged against him. 21 But if the wicked man turns away from all the sins he has committed [repentance] and keeps all my decrees and does what is just and right, he will surely live, he will not die. 22 None of the offenses he has committed will be remembered against him. Because of the righteous things he has done, he will live."
Do you have denial and shame and other unconfessed sin in your family tree? Do you bring these into the church and into your own family?
Well take heart, a good repentant faith, in whatever generation, whatever our social or religious status, always breaks the curse, always frees every generation to more easily choose the good and right and Holy way, rather than the futile way. This is what the Hebrew scriptures teach, which prophetically confirm and explain our New Testament at 1Peter1,18.
Christians Are Not Only Known By Their Family And Are Healtheir For It
The only genelaogies in the New Testament are about Jesus.
We know Peter's father's name was "Jonah," because before he met Jesus he was "Simon bar Jonah," that is Simon, Son of Jonah. His new name, given by Jesus, was simply Peter, Rocky.
We don't know anything about Paul's daddy or momma. We don't know much of Timothy father and nothing of Titus.' Paul was happy to become his father in faith. The fact is the importance of biological families is relativized in Christianity. That is, it is less important, and it had to be this way or nobody would have left kith and kin, home and hearth, to spread the gospel. We don't know anything about the wives and kids of the original apostles, because there is almost nothing in the New Testament about the inner working of family life, because life in service, in full health, and worship of Jesus came first.
This is one of the hardest and most jarring truths of biblical Christianity. It both elevates the family as a place of nurture and faith in the example of Jesus growing in wisdom and stature in Bethlehem with Mary and Josseph. But even as it does that, it teaches the higher truth that we all must be about our "heavenly Hather's business."
It teaches that when our biological family doesn't allow for freedom of service, and slows us down, and thinks its ways are healtheir than God's ways, we distance ourselves not from Jesus and the service but from our family. That's what Jesus did when Mary and His brothers tracked him down and thought he was doing too much deliverance and going over the deep end, and they wanted him to slow down. He said "who are my mother and brothers, those who do the will of my heavenly father." Matthew12,48 When family dynamics got in the way of the mission, He distanced himself, he made his family less important.
What did he say to folks who straggled and hung back from the mission vineyard because they wanted to wait to bury their kinfolk- oh my, are you ready? "Let the dead bury the dead." You just get right after preaching the kingdom! Luke9,60
On the cross Jesus provided a home and protection for his mother, with John the "beloved" disciple. Jesus obviously cared very much for her, as she did for him, being there at the cross when most folks were too chicken to care. But this same Jesus who took care of his mother at Calvary was and is our savior who said about families it very well could be two people for the gospel, and three against. Luke12,52 But you mustn't let anyone or anything come between me and you, your new brother, your savior and LORD.
Three against two, two against three, "get over it! You serve me first," that was his message in relation to family that interferes with serving him.
Jesus also said we must love him more than father and mother if we want to be his disciple. Matthew10,37
Please don't argue with me. I just preach it, take up with the Lord!
So the importance of family in Christianity is relativized. You could call this radical, and many Christians soft pedal this part of the gospel, and are more devoted to family than Jesus. But as God told Cain, you obey me everything will be OK, you won't be jealous at all about your brother. You won't have problems in your families. It would be better in all our families if everybody just obeyed Jesus, in putting God first, instead of getting all jealous and comparing themselves with others. Let God deal justly and individually with each of us.
The family was also relativized when Abraham was told to leave Haran, and his father's houshold, and his idols, and start a new household of faith.
This teaching was also there in the Hebrew prophet Ezekiel who didn't ust kick back on his status as prophet and son of a priest. Instead he went further to envision a whole new temple cult, and also outlined the spiritual code of salvation of the New Testament in Ezekiel18 and Ezekiel31,31, a new Spiritual law, in a new heart, given not by biology, by his daddy, but by the Holy Ghost, by God Himself.
This doesn't mean that family is not important- it still is important- but our own saving faith and service to our Lord Jesus is more important than anybody in our family, and any idol in our family, any futile way passed down in our family. I know a preacher who makes a point of saying that Jesus comes before his very lovely wife and kids. He's absolutely right.
So many "Christians" wouldn't dare say this. They would think they were being impious. But it is the truth.
The New Testament bible teaches that we Christians are not so much known by our family name, but by His precious name invoked over us, called over us, pronounced over in baptism (James2,7).
That's the only name that can be blasphemed! That's the name above all names, name upon which the word tells us to do everything.
I hope to be known as Jesus follower, as a Christian. If you remember my first or given name, or family name too, that's all the better. But the most important name in my life up til now has been the name of Jesus invoked over me, that put me into a eternal covenant with the Lord Jesus. Nobody can come between me and His Covenantal Name, not a wife, not a boss, not the futile way of a family, not anything, or anyone.
This is liberating! This is healthy.
This liberation applies to our family tree too. As Paul said "for freedom Christ set us free."
Families get better when folks get liberated by the blood of the lamb, praise Jesus. They get better, and more loving, and peaceful, not full of agendas and lobbying, and politics, and favorites.
And if our own names were so important, why would Jesus be give us the victorious a new one in the kingdom? (Revelation2,17).
If our family name was so important, why would he write the name of God and His new name, and "New Jerusalem" on our foreheads as overcomers? (Revelation3,12)
Matthew5,9: "Blessed are the peacemakers, they shall be called sons of God."
Sons and daughters of God. That's who we are. That's a name we can be known by.
John1,12: "But as many as received him, to them He gave the authority to become children of God, to those believing in His name."
Children of God!
John11,52: "and not for the nation only, but also to gather together into one the scattered children of God."
Family is important, but freedom in Jesus and service and worship of Him is more important. This is clear from scripture.
It is more important to a be a child of God, than a child of fulano de tal, no matter how great fulano de tal is or was.
Sons And Daughters Of Judah- Sons And Daughters Of Faith
I promise we are almost done. I never wanted to be that preacher that had to ask for time at the end of sermon. But now look?
Daniel1,6 speaks of the people of Judah exiled in Babylon. Like us Christians, we are living in the world, in Babylon, not the kingdom yet, not home in Zion yet. The leaders of the Jews in exile were from Judah, and they were prophets, the holiest people of Judah, the holiest of all God's people. And what name were they known by?
The NASB translates Daniel1,6 this way: "Now among them [the Jewish exiles] from the sons of Judah were Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah."
No mention of a family name here, just the evocative and stellar "sons of Judah." "Daughters of Judah" That phrase "sons of Judah' makes me feel all religious, like the bold shot of the Holy Ghost it brings.
Jesus was also a "son of Judah!" The fulfillment of the Davidic line, last and final king and messiah, Son of Judah, praise God.
The holiest and best and final "son of Judah."
He was adopted, praise God by Joseph, his foster father, Joseph, and borne of his mother Mary's womb. Praise God for their love and care of him.
Yes he came from a family.
But he was also the great high priest, Melchizedek of old, who was "without father and mother," without geneology (Hebrews7,3). Yes we came from families, but we too are all priests in the Spiritual line of Melchizedek, a new order of priest, not built on the line of biology, not beholden to an old law that can't be kept, but each of us witness to the eternal heavenly and kingdom oriented priesthood of Jesus. Son of God, daughter of God.
What could be a greater honor than to get baptized in the Spirit, and thereby getting really healthy, and thereby ordained, and thereby named a royal priest (1Peter2,9) by our great high priest Jesus, who lives in us, the hope of glory, who rebirthed us, re-fathered and re-mothered us so to speak in his cleansing blood by baptism in His name!
As to families, we'll end with Isaiah11,2ff and bring all our needs and those of our families, the need for a new covenant based miraculous faith, our need for liberation by His everflowing blood, our need that curses would be broken, and demons delivered and bound at the cross, the need that ugly mental strongholds once and for all be destroyed:
But With Righteousness He Will Judge The Needy
"The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him- the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of power, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord. He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes, or decide by what he hears with his ears; 4 but with righteousness he will judge the needy, with justice he will give decisions for the poor of the earth."
It's an awesome thing to fall into the merciful healing hands of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ, King of the Jews, king of our faith, king of kings. Lod of Lords. Name above all names.
Don't be afraid- do you or your family have a need- for righteousness in yourself and your family? Have you felt cursed? Well give him all that futile way of life passed down, bring your sin and the sin of your ancestors to the ever living and flowing blood, and He will set you and your family free, praise his name and his goodness.
It's also an awesome thing to be simply known as a "son or daughter of Judah." It's an honor to be a son or daughter of a king. Liberated with all the health and shalom of the salvation of God. We'll never stop loving our families, but it's an awesome thing, and healing thing, to be "a son or daughter of Judah."
A son or daughter with a saving faith, with a faith unto the end of the exile, a faith unto the end of the age, a faith unto the ends of the earth, a faith unto the kingdom, a faith that breaks every chain and bondage in the heavenlies, and on earth, and in families, praise his saving Name!
What an honor. We're not worthy of it, but made so, by his stripes I am healed, and you are healed.
This is personal and individual faith, in his everflowing blood, which makes us righteous, covers every sin, past present and future, and all the effects of sin, in our churches, in our marriages, cleanses and liberates, in our families, even before the rapture, even before the kingdom, oh what a merciful savior and healer, Jesus is.
In Jesus name I pray.
(Again, I'm willing and fired up by this semon to do a 'healing of the family tree' service for your family or church, just as the Lord sees fit. If you are led to agree with me on this in faith, please contact me.)
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Tobin Hitt is the founder of the Zion Pentecost Mission. He is open to gospel partnership with all, and identifies with Paul's description of our mission as ambassadors for our king, Jesus, urging all to reconcile with God (2Cor.20-21). He resides in Cheshire, Connecticut.read more...