Prophetic churches abound in Africa, with prophets and prophetesses dotting every nook and cranny of the continent’s spiritual landscape. One of the prominent features of the prophets we see in Africa is their mimicry of Old Testament prophets in the usage of diverse substances as instruments of deliverance and curse-breaking. We see such prophets making use of items like salt, sand, water, oil, candles, incense, colanuts, fruits, eggs, animal sacrifices, etc, while conducting deliverance and curse-breaking. What’s the view of Scripture on the use of such substances and methods for prayers and deliverance in the New Testament Church? We will examine relevant portions of Scripture to answer this question.
We understand from Scripture that curses result from disobedience to God and rebellion against his will. The first curse came upon our fore-parents, Adam and Eve, for directly violating God’s command. That was the beginning of all curses, and the instigator of the chaos that was unleashed on nature.
Genesis 2:16 And the LORD God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden;
Genesis 2:17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.” (NIV).
Genesis 3:13 Then the LORD God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”
Genesis 3:14 So the LORD God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, “Cursed are you above all livestock and all wild animals! You will crawl on your belly and you will eat dust all the days of your life.
Genesis 3:15 And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.”
Genesis 3:16 To the woman he said, “I will make your pains in childbearing very severe; with painful labor you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.”
Genesis 3:17 To Adam he said, “Because you listened to your wife and ate fruit from the tree about which I commanded you, ’You must not eat from it,’ “Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat food from it all the days of your life.
Genesis 3:18 It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field.
Genesis 3:19 By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.” (NIV).
That original sin opened the door for all curses to come upon mankind, bringing about sickness, hardship, painful child-bearing, heartbreaks, and ultimately death. Superimposed on these universal curses are specific curses occasioned by specific acts of disobedience to God’s commands, rebellion and disobedience to parents and violations of contractual agreements ratified under solemn oath. We see examples of all these in Scripture.
Deuteronomy 28:15 However, if you do not obey the LORD your God and do not carefully follow all his commands and decrees I am giving you today, all these curses will come on you and overtake you:
Deuteronomy 28:16 You will be cursed in the city and cursed in the country (NIV).
Ephesians 6:1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.
Ephesians 6:2 “Honor your father and mother” —which is the first commandment with a promise —
Ephesians 6:3 “so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.” (NIV).
2 Samuel 21:1 During the reign of David, there was a famine for three successive years; so David sought the face of the LORD. The LORD said, “It is on account of Saul and his blood-stained house; it is because he put the Gibeonites to death.”
2 Samuel 21:2 The king summoned the Gibeonites and spoke to them. (Now the Gibeonites were not a part of Israel but were survivors of the Amorites; the Israelites had sworn to spare them, but Saul in his zeal for Israel and Judah had tried to annihilate them.) (NIV).
In the Old Testament, we find prophets of God using various means and methods to break curses and free people from their grip, inspired by the Spirit of God. Bathing in a river, sprinkling salt in water, offering sacrificial animals, as well as killing some people were some of the remedies inspired by the Holy Spirit under the Law, to break and abolish curses.
2 Kings 5:9 So Naaman went with his horses and chariots and stopped at the door of Elisha’s house.
2 Kings 5:10 Elisha sent a messenger to say to him, “Go, wash yourself seven times in the Jordan, and your flesh will be restored and you will be cleansed.”
2 Kings 2:19 The people of the city said to Elisha, “Look, our lord, this town is well situated, as you can see, but the water is bad and the land is unproductive.”
2 Kings 2:20 “Bring me a new bowl,” he said, “and put salt in it.” So they brought it to him.
2 Kings 2:21 Then he went out to the spring and threw the salt into it, saying, “This is what the LORD says: ’I have healed this water. Never again will it cause death or make the land unproductive.’”
2 Kings 2:22 And the water has remained pure to this day, according to the word Elisha had spoken (NIV).
2 Samuel 24:15 So the LORD sent a plague on Israel from that morning until the end of the time designated, and seventy thousand of the people from Dan to Beersheba died.
2 Samuel 24:16 When the angel stretched out his hand to destroy Jerusalem, the LORD relented concerning the disaster and said to the angel who was afflicting the people, “Enough! Withdraw your hand.” The angel of the LORD was then at the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite.
2 Samuel 24:17 When David saw the angel who was striking down the people, he said to the LORD, “I have sinned; I, the shepherd, have done wrong. These are but sheep. What have they done? Let your hand fall on me and my family.”
2 Samuel 24:18 On that day Gad went to David and said to him, “Go up and build an altar to the LORD on the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite.”
2 Samuel 24:25 David built an altar to the LORD there and sacrificed burnt offerings and fellowship offerings. Then the LORD answered his prayer in behalf of the land, and the plague on Israel was stopped (NIV).
Deuteronomy 17:2 If a man or woman living among you in one of the towns the LORD gives you is found doing evil in the eyes of the LORD your God in violation of his covenant,
Deuteronomy 17:3 and contrary to my command has worshiped other gods, bowing down to them or to the sun or the moon or the stars in the sky,
Deuteronomy 17:4 and this has been brought to your attention, then you must investigate it thoroughly. If it is true and it has been proved that this detestable thing has been done in Israel,
Deuteronomy 17:5 take the man or woman who has done this evil deed to your city gate and stone that person to death.
Deuteronomy 17:6 On the testimony of two or three witnesses a person is to be put to death, but no one is to be put to death on the testimony of only one witness.
Deuteronomy 17:7 The hands of the witnesses must be the first in putting that person to death, and then the hands of all the people. You must purge the evil from among you (NIV).
So, we see all kinds of methods used in the Old Testament to break curses upon a people or a land, with the aim of restoring back God’s blessings. Each method used was as inspired by the Holy Spirit for the occasion. Now, what must not be forgotten is that, all the prophetic acts in the Old Testament were types and shadows of Christ’s ministry. For instance, the lifting up of a bronze serpent on a pole to heal the people bitten by poisonous snakes in the wilderness was a type of Christ being lifted up on a tree to save men from the curse of sin and death.
Numbers 21:5 they spoke against God and against Moses, and said, “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? There is no bread! There is no water! And we detest this miserable food!”
Numbers 21:6 Then the LORD sent venomous snakes among them; they bit the people and many Israelites died.
Numbers 21:7 The people came to Moses and said, “We sinned when we spoke against the LORD and against you. Pray that the LORD will take the snakes away from us.” So Moses prayed for the people.
Numbers 21:8 The LORD said to Moses, “Make a snake and put it up on a pole; anyone who is bitten can look at it and live.”
Numbers 21:9 So Moses made a bronze snake and put it up on a pole. Then when anyone was bitten by a snake and looked at the bronze snake, they lived (NIV).
St. John 3:14 Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up,
St. John 3:15 that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.” (NIV).
Every Old Testament ordinance or practice was a type and shadow of Christ, who is the full revelation of God. Every Old Testament prophet was a type of Christ’s prophetic work as the ultimate Prophet. Every sacrifice offered in the Old Testament was a type and partial reflection of Christ’s all-encompassing sacrifice: all pointed to the coming Messiah, his ministry and his complete redemptive work.
Hebrews 10:8 First he said, “Sacrifices and offerings, burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not desire, nor were you pleased with them” —though they were offered in accordance with the law.
Hebrews 10:9 Then he said, “Here I am, I have come to do your will.” He sets aside the first to establish the second.
Hebrews 10:10 And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
Hebrews 10:11 Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins.
Hebrews 10:12 But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God,
Hebrews 10:13 and since that time he waits for his enemies to be made his footstool (NIV).
Thus, we find Christ’s sacrifice of himself on Calvary was perfect and complete in its ability to deliver mankind from all the curses of sin and death, what the types and shadows displayed by prophets and priests in the Old Testament could not achieve. In Christ’s substitutionary and propitiatory death on the cross, we find the solution to all of mankind’s curses and sufferings.
Galatians 3:13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a pole.”
Galatians 3:14 He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit (NIV).
Romans 8:1 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,
Romans 8:2 because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.
Romans 8:3 For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in the flesh,
Romans 8:4 in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit (NIV).
Having paid the complete price for man’s redemption from the law of sin and death and redeemed mankind thereby, faith in the name of Christ alone becomes the only instrument of deliverance from all curses henceforth! We don’t need animal sacrifices anymore to appease God inorder to remove curses from us. We don’t need to bath with salt or sprinkle salt in our water for curse breaking or healing of the land, like Elisha did. Cleansing baths for curse breaking and healing are no longer required, as was recommended for Naaman. We don’t need to pay money to anyone for family liberation or deliverance. The only thing required to break all curses, liberate anyone and secure total deliverance is faith in the blood of Christ that was shed sacrificially on our behalf on Calvary!
The Acts 3:16 By faith in the name of Jesus, this man whom you see and know was made strong. It is Jesus’ name and the faith that comes through him that has completely healed him, as you can all see.
The Acts 4:9 If we are being called to account today for an act of kindness shown to a man who was lame and are being asked how he was healed,
The Acts 4:10 then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed.
The Acts 4:11 Jesus is “’the stone you builders rejected, which has become the cornerstone.’
The Acts 4:12 Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.” (NIV).
Mark 16:15 And he said to them, Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.
Mark 16:16 Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.
Mark 16:17 And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues;
Mark 16:18 they will pick up serpents with their hands; and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover.
Mark 16:19 So then the Lord Jesus, after he had spoken to them, was taken up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God.
Mark 16:20 And they went out and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them and confirmed the message by accompanying signs.]] (ESV).
When one confesses and repents from his sins and places his faith in Christ Jesus as Lord and Saviour, his sins are pardoned and he becomes justified in the sight of God. He is immediately delivered from the power of darkness and translated into God’s kingdom. He becomes a new creation and old things in his life pass away. All ancestral, generational and familial curses he’d been living under disappear! That’s how all curses are taken away! All curses were broken at Calvary and they become broken in our lives the very moment we appropriate the blessings of Calvary upon ourselves by faith.
Colossians 1:12 giving thanks unto the Father, who made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light;
Colossians 1:13 who delivered us out of the power of darkness, and translated us into the kingdom of the Son of his love;
Colossians 1:14 in whom we have our redemption, the forgiveness of our sins (NIV).
2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
2 Corinthians 5:18 And all things are of God, who has reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and has given to us the ministry of reconciliation;
2 Corinthians 5:19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, not imputing their trespasses to them; and has committed to us the word of reconciliation (AKJV).
Thus, any prophet or pastor who teaches curse breaking or family deliverance through any means other than repentance and faith in the finished works of Christ is peddling dangerous lies and falsehood. Anyone who belittles what Christ did on Calvary as being insufficient to break all generational and familial curses is trampling underfoot the Son of God, dishonouring the blood of Christ and insulting the spirit of grace. Such a person is an apostate, a heretic and an anti-Christ!
Hebrews 10:29 How much more severely do you think someone deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified them, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace? (NIV).
1 John 2:18 Dear children, this is the last hour; and as you have heard that the antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come. This is how we know it is the last hour.
1 John 2:19 They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us. For if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us; but their going showed that none of them belonged to us.
1 John 2:20 But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and all of you know the truth.
1 John 2:21 I do not write to you because you do not know the truth, but because you do know it and because no lie comes from the truth.
1 John 2:22 Who is the liar? It is whoever denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a person is the antichrist —denying the Father and the Son.
1 John 2:23 No one who denies the Son has the Father; whoever acknowledges the Son has the Father also (NIV).
When Christ sets someone free through the knowledge of himself and by the merits of his own perfect sacrifice, that person is free indeed! When the blood of Christ delivers someone from a curse, that person is delivered indeed! The blood of Christ is the perfect all-encompassing sacrifice which alone satisfies God’s righteous requirements and releases God’s blessings upon mankind. The blood of Christ saves and delivers completely!
St. John 8:32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
St. John 8:33 They answered him, “We are Abraham’s descendants and have never been slaves of anyone. How can you say that we shall be set free?”
St. John 8:34 Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin.
St. John 8:35 Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever.
St. John 8:36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed (NIV).
Hebrews 7:24 but because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood.
Hebrews 7:25 Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.
Hebrews 7:26 Such a high priest truly meets our need —one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens.
Hebrews 7:27 Unlike the other high priests, he does not need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people. He sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered himself (NIV).
Furthermore, as long as a person remains in Christ, he or she is safe and secure, and beyond the reach of any curse. In Christ, you’re far above all principalities and powers, and above every name that can used to invoke curses. When you’re in Christ Jesus, the devil is under your feet, as you have power to trample upon serpents and scorpions and all the powers of the enemy! Nothing shall by any means hurt you! The name of the Lord is a strong tower; as long as you remain under the shadow of his wings, no evil shall come near you! No one can curse someone that God has blessed!
Luke 10:17 And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject to us through your name.
Luke 10:18 And he said to them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.
Luke 10:19 Behold, I give to you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.
Luke 10:20 Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject to you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven (AKJV).
Proverbs 18:10 The name of the LORD is a strong tower: the righteous runs into it, and is safe (AKJV).
Psalms 91:1 Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
Psalms 91:2 I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”
Psalms 91:3 Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence.
Psalms 91:4 He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart (NIV).
Numbers 23:7 Then Balaam spoke his message: “Balak brought me from Aram, the king of Moab from the eastern mountains. ’Come,’ he said, ’curse Jacob for me; come, denounce Israel.’
Numbers 23:8 How can I curse those whom God has not cursed? How can I denounce those whom the LORD has not denounced? (NIV).
Finally, let me debunk one of the favourite lies that merchants of curse breaking and family deliverance use in deceiving gullible people. These con artists usually tell children of God that even though they’re born again, they are still subject to familial and generational curses, because God visits the sins of the fathers unto their children, to the third and fourth generations. What these confidence tricksters don’t want you to ever know is that, God stopped punishing children for the sins of their fathers a long time ago. No longer do children pay for the sins of their fathers; now, each person bears responsibility for his own actions. A righteous child is no longer punished for the sins of unrighteous and wicked parents or grandparents.
Ezekiel 18:1 The word of the LORD came to me:
Ezekiel 18:2 What do you mean by repeating this proverb concerning the land of Israel, The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge?
Ezekiel 18:3 As I live, declares the Lord GOD, this proverb shall no more be used by you in Israel.
Ezekiel 18:4 Behold, all souls are mine; the soul of the father as well as the soul of the son is mine: the soul who sins shall die.
Ezekiel 18:20 The soul who sins shall die. The son shall not suffer for the iniquity of the father, nor the father suffer for the iniquity of the son. The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself.
In conclusion, curse breaking and deliverance from all powers of darkness for people in the New Testament is by the name of Jesus Christ alone. All the acts and instruments of deliverance and curse breaking we saw in the Old Testament were types and shadows of Christ as the all-in-one sacrifice. Every Old Testament prophetic work foreshadowed Christ’s work on Calvary. In Christ, we find the all-encompassing sacrifice that fulfilled all the types of sacrifices of the Old Testament. Christ took away all mankind’s curses upon himself and died so that all can be free of curses and receive God’s blessings. And, when Jesus delivers someone he delivers them completely from all sins and from all curses. Any act of curse breaking and deliverance in the New Testament that does not invoke the name and blood of Jesus Christ only is heretical and anti-Christ. Such acts trample underfoot the blood of Jesus and insult the spirit of grace. Deliverance from sin, bondage, curses and all satanic powers is only to be done in the name of Jesus Christ only!
Philippians 2:9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name,
Philippians 2:10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
Philippians 2:11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father (NIV).