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Curses and the Christian Church


The Doctrine of "Breaking Curses"

The first thing we are to know in working the doctrine of Scripture is that no prophesy therein was initiated by man.

We also know that the Scriptures contain all pertaining to life and godliness. If they contain all, they lack nothing.

"Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord,

"According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:"

II Peter 1:2-3

"Moreover I will endeavour that ye may be able after my decease to have these things always in remembrance.

"For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty.

"For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

"And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount.

"We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:

"Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.

"For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost."

II Peter 1:15-21

We do not have in the Scriptures fables, but a sure word of prophesy.

"But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.

"And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of."

II Peter 2:1-2

There are false prophets. We need to be aware and to test doctrine we are unfamiliar with.

It is not enough for a doctrine to "seem to fit with the Word." If the doctrine is not clearly in the Word, it should not be adhered to.

The way of life is so clear that not even a fool needs to err therein.

So it is not enough that by "squeezing and stretching" verses a doctrine may  appear to fit.

The first sign that something may be awry with a doctrine is the use of non-Biblical catch phrases and non-Biblical vocabulary in describing the doctrine. If the phrase per se or the vocabulary is not in scripture, yet is insisted upon by the proponents of the doctrine, it may be suspect and should be closely inspected.

Inspected how?

Remember, we were given a more sure word of prophesy so that we might know the certainty of those things wherein we were instructed. We should compare the things taught to the Word.

"And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews.

"These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.

"Therefore many of them believed; also of honourable women which were Greeks, and of men, not a few."

Acts 17:10-12

They were more noble because first, they were of a ready mind to receive, and second, because they compared what the believers taught against the Scriptures.

They were not scoffers or doubters, as are many, but yet were not willing to follow the first piper down the pipe. And they searched the Scriptures daily to seek the truth regarding the matter. Thus many believed.

Today there is a relatively new doctrine circulating among believers, the doctrine of "Breaking of Curses." It is primarily promulgated by adherents of the Dominionist Movement.

A careful study of Scripture reveals that this doctrine immediately lights a warning: unlike some doctrines that are unScripturally built upon one or a few verses into something we aren't commanded to follow in Scripture, the phrase "Breaking of Curses" is not even based on a similar Scriptural practice.

Therefore, we need to be aware of where new doctrine comes from.

First, it may come from God. But to do so, it needs to agree with Scripture which pertains to the doctrine.

For "Breaking of Curses" to be acceptable, it has to agree with what Scripture reveals regarding curses.

And if it does not, it is false doctrine, a doctrine of false prophets.

"For thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Let not your prophets and your diviners, that be in the midst of you, deceive you, neither hearken to your dreams which ye cause to be dreamed.

"For they prophesy falsely unto you in my name: I have not sent them, saith the LORD."

Jer. 29:8-9

Regarding curses, the first curse is revealed in Genesis.

"And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat:

"But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die."

Gen. 2:16-17

"And he said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?

"And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.

"And the LORD God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.

"And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life:

"And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.

"Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.

"And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;

"Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field;

"In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return."

Gen. 3:11-19

This is the curse on the earth and the curse on the serpent.

The final aspect of the curse regarding the serpent, the devil, is when his "head is bruised." He will be consumed in the Lake of Fire.

The final aspect of the curse on the earth will be when the Third Heaven and Earth is established.

"And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.

"In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.

"And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him:"

Rev. 22:1-3

How does the Church of grace, and the Christian, fit into all of this?

Only one section of the Bible that is directly addressed to Christians in general gives an overall view.

"O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?

"This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?

"Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?

"Have ye suffered so many things in vain? if it be yet in vain.

"He therefore that ministereth to you the Spirit, and worketh miracles among you, doeth he it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?

"Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.

"Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham.

"And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed."

Gal. 3:1-8

The opposite of a curse is a blessing. We as Christians are blessed in Christ the way Abraham was blessed of God.

What was the blessing of Abraham that this refers to?

"Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee:

"And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:

"And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed."


We are blessed as was Abraham. He who blesses us is blessed and he who curses us is cursed.

Do we also have this liberation from curses?

"So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.

"For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them."

Gal. 3:9-10

Yes, we are in Christ freed from the Law, and the curse of the Law.

There are those under a curse. Those who walk according to the Law are subject to the consequences, the curses, if they cannot do the Law.

Even the Old Testament believers did the rudiments of the Law only by God's grace, and since the Law is not God's will to us, I would not count on His grace in trying to fulfill it, thus, the curses of the Law.

But as we walk in faith and not under the Law, we are blessed as was father Abraham, not by works but by grace.

"But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith.

"And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them.

"Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:

"That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith."

Gal. 3:11-14

We are then to walk in faith and we will not be subject to the curses of the Law.

It is said that even as believers, we can harbor old ways, and thus receive curses or the effects of curses. Since we pray for our health, or pray to claim our forgiveness, which also is ours already in Christ, why do we not pray also to break curses?

We need to look to our more sure word of prophesy for an answer, and if we find we should pray to break curses, then we should make sure we do so.

"Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms.

"Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord:

"And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.

"Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much."

James 5:13-16

As in other sections of Scripture, James here is clear that we should pray for the sick. It is clear and direct.

James, as in other sections, is also clear that we should confess to our shortcomings, our sins and faults.

It does not say that we have to confess every little failure to our elders. We are in Christ. We can admit our sins to our intercessor.

But if a sin results in deception and then in illness, and we cannot have faith in our justification, then we should air our hidden things and walk in light, so that all may be clear and we can admit to our forgiveness.

That we should confess sins and pray for illness is clear.

Is there a similar clear verse regarding breaking curses? No. It is "speculative" doctrine, based on interpretation of Scripture regarding curses.

Where then did the doctrine come from?

We want to be very sure if we accept this that it is the will of God, and the Scriptures were given that we would have a sure light.

To accept this it has to clearly fit.

If it does not fit, it is false doctrine, doctrine by false prophets.

As we saw in Jeremiah 29:8-9, it is either of God or it is of false prophets and deceivers.

So we will find out what Scripture says about curses, and whether the doctrine of breaking curses has room to fit in them.

There are twelve Hebrew words and five Greek words translated "curse" in the King James, most having similar meanings and usages, although the particulars are understood by connotation and context.

An Oath

The foremost use of "curse" is as an oath, particularly in reference to the negative consequences of failure to abide by an oath or a covenant.

The Hebrew "alah," "shebuah," "taalah," have this meaning and are translated curse.

"Neither with you only do I make this covenant and this oath;

"But with him that standeth here with us this day before the LORD our God, and also with him that is not here with us this day:

"(For ye know how we have dwelt in the land of Egypt; and how we came through the nations which ye passed by;

"And ye have seen their abominations, and their idols, wood and stone, silver and gold, which were among them:)

"Lest there should be among you man, or woman, or family, or tribe, whose heart turneth away this day from the LORD our God, to go and serve the gods of these nations; lest there should be among you a root that beareth gall and wormwood;

"And it come to pass, when he heareth the words of this curse, that he bless himself in his heart, saying, I shall have peace, though I walk in the imagination of mine heart, to add drunkenness to thirst:

"The LORD will not spare him, but then the anger of the LORD and his jealousy shall smoke against that man, and all the curses that are written in this book shall lie upon him, and the LORD shall blot out his name from under heaven."

Duet. 29:14-20

The result of not keeping the covenant of verse fourteen is the curse of verse 20.

"Even all nations shall say, Wherefore hath the LORD done thus unto this land? what meaneth the heat of this great anger?

"Then men shall say, Because they have forsaken the covenant of the LORD God of their fathers, which he made with them when he brought them forth out of the land of Egypt:

"For they went and served other gods, and worshipped them, gods whom they knew not, and whom he had not given unto them:

"And the anger of the LORD was kindled against this land, to bring upon it all the curses that are written in this book:"

Duet. 29:24-27

It is the Lord that "curses," it is the Lord that brings it to pass.

"Then the priest shall charge the woman with an oath of cursing, and the priest shall say unto the woman, The LORD make thee a curse and an oath among thy people, when the LORD doth make thy thigh to rot, and thy belly to swell;"

Num. 5:21

In this test of a covenant between a man and a woman, it is again the Lord that "makes thee a curse," that delivers to judgment regarding that covenant.

What then is the solution to being cursed by a failure to adhere to an oath or a covenant? Are we to "break the curse?" No, because the covenant cannot be broken, only fulfilled, in which case there is no more curse.

Furthermore, the curse cannot be "broken" because the covenant cannot be "broken" in the since of it having none effect. It was, for the Christian, fulfilled in Christ and we are not under the curse of the law.

But for the doer of the Law, the solution is not to pray about it or to claim rights against it. The solution is to return to the Lord.

"And it shall come to pass, when all these things are come upon thee, the blessing and the curse, which I have set before thee, and thou shalt call them to mind among all the nations, whither the LORD thy God hath driven thee,

"And shalt return unto the LORD thy God, and shalt obey his voice according to all that I command thee this day, thou and thy children, with all thine heart, and with all thy soul;

"That then the LORD thy God will turn thy captivity, and have compassion upon thee, and will return and gather thee from all the nations, whither the LORD thy God hath scattered thee."

Duet. 30:1-3

Israel was not told to pray about the curses per se, nor to break them.

They were told to return to the Lord.


Another use of the word "curse" is for belittlement or vilification.

"Meerah," "qelalah," "naqab," "qabab," "qalal," "arar," and the Greek "kakalogeo" all are various words conoting belittlement and vilification and is translated "curses."

It is a pronunciation of judgment.

Again, it is the Lord who is able to effect this vilification.

"And he took up his parable, and said, Balak the king of Moab hath brought me from Aram, out of the mountains of the east, saying, Come, curse me Jacob, and come, defy Israel.

"How shall I curse, whom God hath not cursed? or how shall I defy, whom the LORD hath not defied?"

Num. 23:7-8

If one finds oneself cursed of God this way, what is the solution?

Again, it is to return to God. The whole essence of repentance is involved.

Israel was not to break the curse, they were to confess their shortcomings and repent.

"As he loved cursing, so let it come unto him: as he delighted not in blessing, so let it be far from him.

"As he clothed himself with cursing like as with his garment, so let it come into his bowels like water, and like oil into his bones."

Psalm 109:17-18

As Israel blessed rather than continue in inequity, the curses were negated, which is what one assumes is the meaning of "broken."

And for the Christian, a walk in love is a walk of blessing rather than cursing.

"He that giveth unto the poor shall not lack: but he that hideth his eyes shall have many a curse."

Prov. 28:27

From an Old testament perspective?

Curses are a result of misdirected works.

"Render unto them a recompence, O LORD, according to the work of their hands.

"Give them sorrow of heart, thy curse unto them."

Lam. 3:64-65

Curses are the result of erring from commandments.

"Thou hast rebuked the proud that are cursed, which do err from thy commandments."

Psalm 119:21

And in Christ we are not under curses, as we read in Galations chapter three.


Can believers be "enchanted," can believing Christians have spells cast upon them?

"As the bird by wandering, as the swallow by flying, so the curse causeless shall not come."

Prov. 26:2


As stated in Psalm 109:17-18, those hurt by curses are those using them.

One could digress by discussing spiritual power used by occult magicians, and how they "aim" demons at people.

However, the means of wrestling against powers directed by magicians is no different than against any other dark power. We are not told to wrestle against it by "breaking curses," we are told to wrestle against it by donning spiritual armor.

Then is brought to pass, "greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world."

Even Elisha, when he cursed (reviled) the children of Bethel who were then rent by bears, did so "in the name of the Lord," which is to say, at God's direction.

And the curse did not kill those children

The consequence of their actions, and the power of this world they gave themselves to, did.

As it is written,

"While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage."

II Peter 2:19

Nothing more.

The Manifestation of Curses

Those who preach the doctrine of Breaking Curses claim that our words have special powers because we are spiritual men and women.

Therefore they say that when we speak ill of others, we supernaturally curse them, bringing enchantment against them.

It is true that we can curse, revile, speak hatefully, speak words of discouragement, and speak ill of others.

But there is no indication that the ill thereof is worked on any who do not hear and accept those words.

If vain and harmful words are energized by our pnuema from God, then "cursing" would be a manifestation of spirit.

There is absolutely no Biblical substantiation for this.

Indeed, it still stands that there needs to be "ears to hear."

This doctrine does not appear to be of God, and if not of God, it is the work of false prophets.

Can Christians be "cursed?" Do the Scriptures speak of Christians who can actually be cursed?


Christians who walk after fables, who reject the walk of grace, and who attain after the Law are called "cursed children."

"But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption;

"And shall receive the reward of unrighteousness, as they that count it pleasure to riot in the day time. Spots they are and blemishes, sporting themselves with their own deceivings while they feast with you;

"Having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: an heart they have exercised with covetous practices; cursed children:

"Which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness;"

II Peter 2:12-15

These are those who have received "the knowledge of the Lord" yet have rejected him.

When they have known the Lord, not just received and become born of God but have walked in light and then embraced darkness, then the Christian may be cursed.

Then they receive the consequence of their works.

"These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever.

"For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error.

"While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage.

"For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning.

"For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them.

"But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire."

II Peter 2:17-22

It is said of such that better had it been better, not that they had been born again, but that they had never come to know the way of righteousness.

These who knew the right way and rejected it are the only Christians said to be cursed.

Are we to add to this our own experience or our own opinion?

It would be better to simply accept the testimony of the Word.

And if these truth-rejectors are cursed, what is the solution?

Are they to pray that there curses are broken?


One is to return to Christ, return to grace.

One is to return to faith.

In faith, no consequence of the Law has relevance.

In faith, no curse of enchantment shall fail to be turned to a blessing.

In faith, you are not reviled by God, but rather, are accepted of Him, and the doctrine of breaking curses robs the believer of these promises.

Therefore the doctrine of "breaking curses" is a hideous, harmful fable, brought about by false prophets.

What then does God say of such prophets?

"Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, of Ahab the son of Kolaiah, and of Zedekiah the son of Maaseiah, which prophesy a lie unto you in my name; Behold, I will deliver them into the hand of Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon; and he shall slay them before your eyes;

"And of them shall be taken up a curse by all the captivity of Judah which are in Babylon, saying, The LORD make thee like Zedekiah and like Ahab, whom the king of Babylon roasted in the fire;

"Because they have committed villany in Israel, and have committed adultery with their neighbours' wives, and have spoken lying words in my name, which I have not commanded them; even I know, and am a witness, saith the LORD."

Jer. 29:21-23


"And it come to pass, when he heareth the words of this curse, that he bless himself in his heart, saying, I shall have peace, though I walk in the imagination of mine heart, to add drunkenness to thirst:

"The LORD will not spare him, but then the anger of the LORD and his jealousy shall smoke against that man, and all the curses that are written in this book shall lie upon him, and the LORD shall blot out his name from under heaven."

Duet. 29:19-20

Do not fear the devices of the enemy, as you are not ignorant of his devices.

Rather, rejoice in your Lord, Jesus, who is our head, and in whom we are blessed with all spiritual blessings.




R. Scott Stewart

Lay Pastor,

Free Christian Ministry

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