Marijuana for Medicinal Use – The Argument for Legalising Cannabis…

Earlier this year, the South African government announced its intention to table a bill legalising the medical use of marijuana. The obscure announcement followed a special plea to Zuma by Inkatha Freedom ­Party MP Mario Oriani-Ambrosini, who was last year diagnosed with stage 4 ­cancer, to consider making it legal in South ­Africa to use medicinal marijuana, ­saying not to do so would be a “crime against humanity”.
While tempers often flare in parliament during fiery debates between the ruling ANC and opposition parties, ­Ambrosini’s moving address drew a standing ovation from all members of the house…and so began the campaign by alternative medicinal practitioners, happy hippies and wayward teenagers to see the drug legalised.
A trendy topic in popular culture
Social media has since been awash with petitions and blogs calling for the legalisation of cannabis for both medicinal and recreational use. With Obama pushing legislation in this direction, the USA spearheads the cultural trend, as state after state legalise the drug. Magazines are filled with stories of people who have utilised cannabis for pain relief, even some Christians are touting its benefits, with many claiming stories of friends who used it safely and to great effect. But is there another side to the story? Is this indeed a “gateway” drug that, should it be legalised for medicinal use, would create new addicts and worsen drug and crime rates in our country?
The arguments for and against
Proponents of medical marijuana argue that it can be a safe and effective treatment for the symptoms of cancer, AIDS, multiple sclerosis, pain, glaucoma, epilepsy, and other conditions. They cite dozens of peer-reviewed studies, prominent medical organisations, government reports, and the use of marijuana as medicine throughout history. Medical cannabis can be administered using a variety of methods, including vaporising or smoking dried buds, eating extracts, taking capsules, applying its oil or using oral sprays.
Opponents of medical marijuana argue that it is too dangerous to use, lacks FDA-approval, and that various legal drugs render marijuana use unnecessary. They say marijuana is addictive, leads to harder drug use, interferes with fertility, impairs driving ability, and injures the lungs, immune system, and brain. They further state that medical marijuana is a front for legalising recreational use – and propagates the growth of a black market.
Conclusive evidence to the contrary
The recreational use of cannabis is illegal in most parts of the world, but the medical use of cannabis is legal in Austria, Canada, Czech Republic, Finland, Germany, Israel, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and parts of the USA. Perhaps the last word should be given to The Institute of Medicine in America who conducted a comprehensive study assessing the potential health benefits of cannabis, concluding that the smoking of cannabis is not to be recommended for the treatment of any disease condition, and  further finding its addictive side-effects harmful and not worth the potential medicinal benefits. 

By Jackie Georgiou
Have Your Say:

Do you know anyone who has used medicinal marijuana and had a positive experience?
Can Christians use it (medicinally)?


Why it is dangerous – a drug rehab speaks out
While the entertainment industry glamorises marijuana and other drugs in movies and magazines, it often sidesteps reality. Scientists at the National Institute on Drug Abuse warn that the effects of pot on the developing teenage brain include a potential 8-10 point drop in IQ over time. They also note that users are likely to become dependent, physically or psychologically.
The catastrophic impact of drunk drivers on innocent people is well documented, do we really want to encourage people under the influence of marijuana to get behind the wheel of a car and hurt other innocent people?
For Pastor Sophos Nissiotis, the founder and director of Noupoort Christian Care Centre, “the notion of legalising marijuana for medicinal purposes is a total farce and hides the intention to eventually legalise the use of cannabis for financial gain. The attempt to legalise cannabis for medicinal purposes should be challenged and resisted in the Constitutional Court. My take on cannabis is that it is a dangerous, deceptive drug on planet earth.”
• Phase one starts out harmlessly enough with laughter, social bliss and hunger.
• Phase two leads to a “relaxed” state, philosophising and social interaction.
• Phase three progresses to a state of paranoia, suspicion and anti-social behaviour even towards family and friends.
• Phase four leads to psychiatric assessment with the use of psychiatric drugs such as anti-depressants and mood stabilisers or street drugs such as Ecstasy, Cocaine, Methamphetamine and Crack which leads to the downers Mandrax and Heroin. Any and every addict that has been on cannabis for a number of years will attest to the above.

Though research on the benefits or harmful effects of marijuana for medicinal use is limited, extensive research has been done on the harmful effects of cannabis on the individual.
Noupoort Christian Care Centre compiled a report detailing the dangers of the drug. Mrs Yda Krijgsman, Chief Social Worker (Registered by the Council of Social Services Profession), has 35 years experience in the field of addiction. Here are a few points from her report that expose the effects of dagga:
• Gateway drug: nicotine is the gateway in primary school learners. Dagga is introduced to the nicotine smokers usually in high school
• Some like it and keep on smoking it. Some don’t like it [and move on to other drugs or abandon it completely]
• When moving onto party drugs – dagga is often in the mix
• When going on to “uppers” dagga is used to “calm down”
• When introduced to a Heroin/Dagga mix “Nayope”, physical addiction sets in.
• Dagga makes some smoker’s senses enhanced, others just become lethargic, lazy and lacking ambition
• Dagga brings about psychosis in some smokers
• Hydroponically cultured dagga is potent (taken a lot in Britain by SA youth doing a gap year)
• The “laughs” and “happy feeling” initially changes and smoker becomes addicted, antisocial and ungroomed
• Different strains of dagga are more potent and more costly.” 
Pastor Sophos Nissiotis
Founder of Noupoort CCC

God Is Still On His Throne

The words of Jesus speak to our reality today; ‘In this world, you will have trouble…’ The television news shows, blogs, newspapers, columnists and experts, are all consistent around reporting one common theme: they all predict serious challenges on every level in the future.
Here is what some of these people are saying:
Expect more natural disasters: There have always been natural disasters but it’s the frequency and scale that give rise to concern. The relief organisation, World Vision, recently published what they considered to be the five worst Natural Disasters of 2013. There were typhoons in India and the Philippines (Typhoon Haiyan and Phailin) which killed thousands and displaced millions.
 There was also the earthquake in the Philippines just three weeks after the typhoon which killed hundreds and displaced around 350 000 people. The United States was struck with tornadoes – one wreaked havoc through Oklahoma City damaging two schools and killing many. Then in North Texas, as many as ten twisters touched down with disastrous consequences.  An expert has said regarding the flooding in England that people should get used to this because “this is the future”.
Expect more economic problems: While in parts of the world there is optimism about a recovery from the last few years of economic woes, in many other parts, unemployment is increasing, desperation is growing and civil unrest is spreading as a result. Many say the worst is still to come.
Expect more political problems: We only have to turn on our televisions to see this! Many places are an ongoing nightmare for millions of people; North Korea, South Sudan, the DRC, Brazil, Iraq and Iran and lately the Ukraine with Russia breathing down its neck, to mention a few.
These things are nothing new
It is true to say that these challenges are nothing new and that the cycles come and go. But it is widely recognised that the frequency and scale is increasing.
Jesus’ words, “in this world, you will have trouble” are proving true!
In that same verse however Jesus states that He is saying this, not to make His people fearful or negative but that His people may know “peace” and be assured that “He has overcome the world”.
So how does the Christian respond as they see these things increase in the world? How do we encourage one another?

We remind ourselves that
1. God is still on His throne:
The Lord Jesus encourages His followers; “Fear not, I have overcome the world.” 
We are reminded in the letter to the Hebrews that; “Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.” Heb 4:13.
The message of the Bible is that we serve a Sovereign God who knows the end from the beginning and is never taken by surprise by world events. Likewise…He is fully aware of the happenings in our individual lives.
The media seldom mention God and His will or His plans for the future. Our future, according to these people, is in the hands of politicians, economic forces, the will of the people and just plain good or bad luck.
But as Christ-followers, we recognise that our perspective is always limited. There is a bigger picture that we often do not see. God is still on His throne and His plans and purposes will prevail. All of history is heading towards the day when “every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord.” Phil 2:10-11.
The Psalmist captures this beautifully in Psalm 2: “Why do the nations conspire and the peoples plot in vain? The kings of the earth rise up and the rulers band together against the Lord and against His anointed, saying: ‘Let us break their chains and throw off their shackles.’”
 “The One enthroned in Heaven laughs; the Lord scoffs at them.” Ps 2:1-4.
2. We are still the objects of His love and grace
No matter what the future may hold with all its potential pitfalls and challenges, the message of the Lord Jesus and all of Scripture is that He loves us and cares about us more than we can ever understand.
The prophets of the Old Testament looked at their world with all its problems, recognised that much was the consequence of sin and rebellion, and yet spoke hope and forgiveness into it. Their message was mostly ignored and rejected, but the offer always stood. In our increasingly secular world, where the message of the Bible is no longer taken seriously, mostly ignored and even opposed, believers take our Lord’s invitation and warning seriously.
 “Seek the Lord while He may be found; call on Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake their ways and the unrighteous their thoughts. Let them turn to the Lord, and He will have mercy on them, and to our God, for He will freely pardon.” Is 55:6-7.
The message of the Lord Jesus is that His people can know peace, even in a world of trouble, because His love never changes. His grace is always sufficient. The key is to turn to Him and to live dependent on His love and grace.

Here is a precious promise:  
“Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” Heb 4:16.

3. Jesus is still Saviour and the world’s only hope
Jesus assures His disciples with these wonderful words “fear not, I have overcome the world.” He directs the attention of His disciples, away from other solutions, towards Himself.
Throughout the letter to the Hebrews, written to believers who were suffering persecution and hardship, there is this repeated directive, “consider Jesus”, “fix your eyes and thoughts on Him.”
 “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the Pioneer and Perfecter of our faith. For the joy set before Him, He endured the Cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the Throne of God. Consider Him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” Heb 12:2-3.
In an uncertain world, we fix our eyes on Jesus who is ‘the same yesterday and today and forever’.

4. The Lord will return and make all things new
The Lord Jesus lived and announced and introduced the Kingdom of God. He will return, this time to preside over the Kingdom. The day is fast approaching when Jesus shall reign.
Sinful mankind, blinded by satan, drunk with power, pursuing wealth, believing themselves to be beyond the things of God, will see that Jesus is Lord and every knee will bow and acknowledge that fact.
“For the Lord Himself will come down from Heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage one another with these words.” 1 Thess 4:16-18.
 As believers we live with this tension – we are in this world but not of it. We are affected by world events. We are not exempt. Believers also struggle and suffer and face hardship. The history of the Church is to a large degree one of suffering. There is more persecution now than ever before.
Yet, Jesus promises that He is always with us. There is a day coming when the trumpet will sound and God’s people will meet the Lord and be with Him forever. So now we live with the awareness that “in this world we will see trouble” but at the same time we recognise that our hope and trust is in Him who has “overcome the world.”
The words of the Psalmist give us courage and perspective:
“I lift up my eyes to the mountains- where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of Heaven and earth. He will not let your foot slip – He who watches over you will not slumber; indeed, He who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.” Ps 121:1-4. 
Dennis Loots is the senior pastor of Somerset West Baptist Church.

Johnathan Macris – Missionary To The Greeks

Alky Macris still calls her 6 children the ‘kids of the jungle’. She smiles making this comment, saying that, by God’s grace, one child is a church planter, another the captain of a ministry sailing vessel, one a missionary doctor, the other married to a professor of Theology, another  married to an ER paramedic, and the other (Johnathan) a director of a mission.
A wild start
At six months of age, Johnathan, the first child of Greek missionaries Costas and Alky Macris, landed in the tropical jungles of the former Dutch New Guinea. It was there in the jungle amongst the most primitive headhunting cannibal tribes that Johnathan grew up. “It all seemed so totally natural”, as he recounts spending hours playing with the naked children of headhunters with toys made out of the bark of trees and mud squelching between his toes.
They bathed in the river, hoping that no crocs would be bothered, drank the milk of coconuts, and ate the meat of wild boar, snake and crocodile. “Eating with my national playmates over an open fire and in a smoke filled thatch roofed hut, seemed like a perfect way to spend the evening out.”
Life in the jungle
At the age of five, Johnathan was sent to the mission boarding school on the other side of the island. It was a painful experience for the young boy, and no doubt for his parents as well. “Being separated from my parents was the most emotionally painful experience of my life. It took me days and sometimes weeks to recover from homesickness”. Yet, Johnathan believes that this was God’s way of providing his formative education which, although painful, produced life skills and character.
Fear was something Johnathan battled. From the age of 4, he remembers hearing the haunting drum beats of warring tribal feuds and scrambling into the house and under his bed, taking his little brother Haris (who today serves as a medical missionary doctor in Uganda on staff with Hellenic Ministries) when arrows began flying over their rickety home.  He recalls the time fear gripped his heart when in an open little skiff (boat), hundreds of savage men were ready to launch their bow stretched arrows from a sandbar when they rounded the murky river bend many miles from home on a river trip with his father. 

Held back by fear
While jungle life seemed normal, living with fear and nightmares too became part of life. He remembers his paralysing fear of flying, as countless little missionary aircrafts disappeared into the ragged peaks and thick jungle. There was fear of being washed out to sea with very strong rip tides in the ocean. There were horrible earthquakes, floods, and thunderstorms. As Johnathan grew, his fears were perpetuated and affected his confidence at school and in sports.
The dorm parents were loving missionaries who were genuinely concerned for the spiritual wellbeing of the students, but they could never take the place of his loving Greek parents.
Fear of eternal damnation haunted Johnathan night after night. He remembers his dorm parent, Gus Arnold, who in a time of devotions with the dorm kids, spoke of the gift of eternal salvation! Johnathan recalls, “My vulnerable emotional state was calmed and reassured with the knowledge that Jesus loved me and that His Blood covered even the smallest of my imperfections. The relief was unbelievable to my impressionable little conscience.”  While eternity was settled in his heart, overcoming his other fears would take time and grace!

A bright spot and a dark cloud
By age eleven, Johnathan’s day brightened when a shy, thin, quiet girl joined the 6th grade class. “There were all of twelve kids in the class and Miriam was the fourth girl. If it wasn’t love at first sight, there was definitely a friendly attraction! I would say that the little Nebraska girl caused my very first heart throb”. Today, Miriam is his beloved wife, life companion and mother of their five children!
A telex arrived late one evening for Johnathan while he was attending a boarding school across the border in Papua New Guinea for his first year of high school. His father, Costas, had fallen seriously ill. He was dying. He was sent on a special medical evacuation flight to Australia and then the USA. Johnathan’s mother, Alky, and his five siblings would need his help. The telex read “Prepare to return home. Leaving at 7AM.”
Their family was in complete shambles. God had used Costas to bring revival among the tribes of the South Coast; brought order out of chaos in the highlands after the cannibalising of his missionary co-workers; and in the last ten years, he saw his vision realised – the opening of 21 outposts, each with an airstrip, church, school, literacy and medical programmes in the Lakes Plain Swamps  – where no missionary had dared to venture. After 16 years of faithful and sacrificial missionary life in the jungles, the tragic change was like the story of the Old Testament Job. His mother, Alky was in deep depression, his brother Neil was in the only island hospital recovering from a severe motorbike accident, his younger brother Alex had contracted a deathly strain of malaria, his sister, Manon, was six months old with an eating disorder and his other sister, Ifie, was too little to be of any help.
This left teenaged Johnathan and his other brother, Haris to pack up 16 years of missionary life and fly their ailing family to the Barnes Memorial Hospital in St Louis – hopefully before their dad died!
A healing miracle
Costas was placed in an isolation ward, feared to have unknown tropical diseases. While feebly wasting away, he was calculating the days left before meeting his Creator. “If anyone is sick among you”, the Apostle James writes, “call on the elders to pray…”, and that is exactly what Costas did. He was anointed with oil…and the rest is history…well…almost! God miraculously reversed the damaged condition of his liver. 
Onward to Greece
By 1979, Costas, with his family, left St. Louis and returned to his beloved homeland of Greece. The task was immense. Costas was no stranger to pioneering. Costas and Alky had committed themselves to burying their bones in Irian Jaya. Now the Macris family were replanted in another jungle, the concrete jungle of Athens, Greece.
Greece was the birthplace of democ-racy, the early Church and of the people, whose language God used to pen the New Testament. At the time, in 1979 and in sharp contrast with their jungle island experience, there were only 5 000 re-born Christians of protestant faith in all of Greece! Just imagine, after 2 000 years of rich spiritual heritage, there were so few believing in the message of eternal hope and salvation. By 1980, Hellenic Ministries in Greece was up and running.

Called to the mission field
While Johnathan completed high school at an upscale International high school in an Athenian suburbia, Miriam Raney completed high school in the eastern highlands of Papua New Guinea.
Johnathan then enrolled at the Moody Bible Institute in downtown Chicago and could not believe that out of thousands of colleges the world over to choose from, Miriam too had enrolled at Moody. “My heart secretly leapt with excitement!”, he thought, “Might the flame that flickered once in New Guinea be rekindled?”
 “In a night of confusion, I found myself kneeling at my bed and laying the hopes of any relationship on the altar.” With that conviction, he felt God asking him if he were willing to give away his own life for the cause of reaching a nation for Christ…or for a group of nations?
A map of the world hung above his college bed. Greece was in the centre of the Mediterranean, surrounded by nation after nation either in abject atheism, traditional Orthodoxy and Islam. In fact not only was Greece central, it was where Western Christianity started and ended, and where the world of Islam begins. “This was it, the birth of God’s vision in my heart. Christ for Greece…and the nations!”

Guidance from God
Hardly had Johnathan graduated from Moody Bible Institute and taken up Business Administrational studies, when Costas called him and gave him staggering news, “Johnathan, the doctors have told me I may have a maximum of 3 months to live!” This time it wasn’t strange difficult tropical diseases to diagnose, it was cancer of the lymphatic system. 
Johnathan was crushed. He faced a dilemma; He chose to immediately
return to Greece, suspending his business studies and terminating educational deferment from the Greek military. If he could finish his mandatory Greek military service, he thought, before his father’s death, he could be of help to his “would-be” widowed mother and the ministry.
Suddenly, a twist of events unfolded.  “Only days before I was due to make my appearance at the army base to begin basic training, I had a strong sense of purpose and urgency to call Miriam, who at the time was completing her nursing degree. It would cost me $7 a minute, but I just had to hear her voice…
I called her from a pay phone and asked her if she would take the path least travelled…if she would marry me! Weary of the dating game and the emotional trauma of possible rejection, I thought it would be best to play the “end game” and to play it quickly. It would either be a “yes” or a “no”.
To his surprise, Miriam answered with neither ‘yes’ nor ‘no’, but rather “I will pray about it”. It seemed hardly less than another form of rejection. Ten days later, he decided to call again to hear her final response before entering the army. If it was rejection, he had to face it. They began with some trivial talk. Then finally, Miriam asked, “so do you want to hear the answer to your question? …the answer is yes!” For a moment he couldn’t believe his ears. He exploded with exclamations of joy! Miriam was willing to follow and support him in his life’s call.
A year in the Greek army
A few days into service, he heard his name over the loud speakers. “Soldier Macris, Johnathan, report immediately to the command centre.” It had only been two or three days. What misdemeanour, he wondered, had he committed? How could he be in trouble already?
The room was filled with younger Greek officers. The sun broke through the dark room and created distinct rays through the heavy cigarette smoke. “Soldier, stand at ease”, was the command as he breached the doorway. Leaning back in his chair and adjusting his cap, the officer asked him: “Is it true soldier Macris that you have not had sex?”
Wow! With 2 500 soldiers in for basic training. He had hardly talked to anyone. Reeling from inquisitiveness, Johnathan answered boldly, “Yes, that is correct”.
Time stood still for only a fraction of a moment as if nobody believed what they heard, and then the room erupted in uncontrollable laughter and jeering! “Are your hormones messed up?”, they ridiculed? Again, another wave of laughter followed. It was now his turn to talk! In place of fear and intimidation, a deep source of strength rose up, Johnathan proceeded to explain the nature of God’s love, His purpose for purity and blessing of the marriage bed. He was able to share the Gospel, and after asking if there was anything else to discuss, saluted and walked away.
A voice of purity
A deep wave of gratitude flooded Johnathan’s heart. The Lord had entrusted him a unique opportunity to experience the Kingdom in his heart and to share boldly with his fellow Greek soldiers. His mission to the Greek nation had begun…and fear seemed to be buried in the past!
Johnathan continued serving in the army as special aide to the general in command. In that year, he never met a single other born-again Christian.
On the eve of Johnathan’s demobilisation, Greece announced a red alert and complete battle readiness against Turkish forces mobilised for battle. The end game here was indefinite. Johnathan kissed Miriam good-bye, uncertain if he would ever return. Fortunately, at the last minute, war was avoided and two weeks passed before the tensions de-escalated. When he was finally released, only ten days remained to prepare for the scheduled wedding ceremony.
The cost of faith
It wasn’t long before Johnathan’s faith would be tested. His father had paid a high price for the “crime of proselytism”.  He had given a single New Testament to a young 15 year old Greek boy who had visited the YWAM ship, ‘Anastasis’. The court prosecuted Costas and sentenced him to 3½ years in prison. Eventually, after 12 months when the case was under appeal, the sentence was overturned.
It seemed like every year Johnathan’s will and nerves were tested, as time and time again, the police would detain him for interrogation and harassment. In Greece, if someone openly shared the Gospel, one thing could be guaranteed – the State Church authorities would demand that the police arrest the ‘offender’, often this was done by force.
Willing to die for Christ
On one occasion, a mob riot was stirred up against their evangelistic team in the town of Oropos, 2½ hours north of Athens. They were given multiple death threats. After being beat, kicked, and spat on, their car was attacked, with an attempt to kick in the windshield, then to turn the car over, and finally stoned. As the spit ran off both sides of his cheeks, he wondered if he would lay down his life as a martyr here in Greece! 
Johnathan’s two worlds collided: how could it be that they survived in a land where cannibalism was openly practised, to now face death by the people who prided themselves of apostolic succession from Peter and the other disciples?
His shirt was ripped and the angered crowd closed in around him, he knew he could not survive the repeated beating and kicking…not to mention the asphyxiating clutches of multiple hands around his throat. Johnathan blacked out and everything became serenely quiet. Miraculously, he came to his senses standing many metres away from the crowd at the car door. He reflects, “Only an angelic presence could have carried me.”
As the director of Hellenic Ministries, Johnathan has been detained more times than he can count. He and his team have had to give a reason for their faith in the city squares across Greece, in police stations and in the courts. God has replaced fear with boldness and a confidence that his strength and courage is from the Lord.

A boldness to share the Gospel
On the eve of the Olympics in Athens, Johnathan launched an ambitious campaign to distribute the Bible in modern Greek to a million homes throughout Greece. They would start with the eighty inhabited scattered islands and then move to mainland Greece.
Today, by God’s grace Operation Joshua and Hellenic Ministries have seeded nearly 600 000 homes giving at least 2 million Greeks access to the New Testament in modern Greek! “What greater gift could we give the nation of Greece, whose language has been appointed by God to treasure the words of eternal hope and life through Christ to all generations!“
Over one million Euros has been used to sow the Word of God into Greece. A million more are still needed. There is no better investment that can be made than delivering God’s Word to a spiritually needy home.

Making an impact for Christ
Hellenic Ministries, has provided for over one million refugees with food, clothing, and showers. They operate a centre for refugee women and children, provide medical assistance, operate camps, a maritime ministry to the Greek islands, and a Crisis Pregnancy Centre.
They also provide counselling for woman in trouble, are involved in media evangelism and run youth camps on its sea-side camp facility. They are also developing training programmes for church workers and new church plants.
Bringing hope to Greece in crisis 
If God’s Word can change the narrative of centuries of spiritism, can it not more so bring hope to Greece and its economic woes? Johnathan envisions a land that will be a stepping stone for the Gospel into the world of Islam beyond the borders of Greece, even as the Apostle Paul came through Greece as he took the Gospel beyond Greece to the end of the then known world.
Much in the same way, modern Greece can play a defining role in the future of the nations in the East and their encounter with the truth. As Johnathan’s mother often says: “God can use even a jungle boy to impact a nation.”

How you can get involved
For more info on Johnathan or the ministry, see 
By Nico Bougas

What The Bible Says About Generational Curses

The concept of the “generational curse” is [often an integral focus] of deliverance ministries. Generational curses are mentioned only in the Old Testament:
“You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing steadfast love to thousands who love me and keep My commandments.” Exo 20:5-6.
The generational curse mentioned in the Bible, then, was a warning given to the Hebrews that they were to worship only the Lord, not idols. If one generation fell away from God and worshiped pagan gods, God warned that He would “visit the iniquity” on several future generations. How is this fair? Everything an Israelite did affected the entire nation (see Joshua 7). Since the Messiah of the was to come out of Israel, all of Israel needed to follow the Lord.
What the Bible says
But God did not leave the Israelites with no hope (Lev 26:39-42). Numbers 14:19-20 shows that forgiveness was available to all Israelites. And Exodus 20:6 explains that God’s loving-kindness to those who repented and followed the Lord would be granted for thousands of generations. This clearly infers that the generations being punished for their fathers’ sins did not repent and seek forgiveness, but continued their fathers’ evil ways.
In Christ we are free
The threat of the generational curse is over, however. Jeremiah 31:29-31 and Ezekiel 18:1-4, 14-20 all say that under the New Covenant the son will not be punished for his father’s sin. We are freed from the generational curse. Jesus’ sacrifice heralded the coming of the New Covenant (Luke 22:20), and we enjoy the benefits. So how is the concept of “generational curses” used today if the Bible so thoroughly explains it is no longer valid? Some deliverance advocates seem to just ignore the evidence. Others believe that a generational curse is only handed down to non-Christian family members; once a person accepts Christ, he is free. But a sin or hardship can be passed down from generation to generation via a demon that stays with the family.
Such a family may have a history of cancer or unfortunate luck with finances. They teach that a child can be inhabited by the family demon, which can remain dormant until awakened by sin. Accepting Christ for salvation breaks the generational curse, because we are under the New Covenant, but it does not remove the demon, which can still wreak havoc. The cure is to repent of any sin affiliated with the curse and rebuke the demon.
The bondage of sin
There are issues with this. Generational curses were never said to involve demonic forces. Exodus 20:5-6 and the other verses clearly state that God punished the generations. There is no mention of “bondage” or illness or even the curse of a sin passed down by the work of a demon.
Are there generational curses today? Not in the sense mentioned in the Old Testament. It is true that whether by influence or genetic predisposition, families can see sins like addiction or rage pass through several generations. “Bondage” issues such as ill health or misfortune can be explained the same way. A demon is not necessarily the cause of heart disease in the children of parents who don’t know how to eat healthily.
Understanding deliverance
“Deliverance” from such a situation is straightforward for the most part. We take our sin to Christ, ask Him to heal us, and work with Him by refusing to continue sinning. For health issues, we can ask for healing, but it doesn’t mean God will see fit to cure us. If one generation rejects God, it doesn’t mean a demon will give the next four generations diabetes. 
By Got Questions

How should you pray when under demonic attacks? Here are a number of guidelines that we trust will be useful.
Carefully study each of them and apply it to your life. Much more can be said, but these few pointers are sufficient to lead you into victory.

People often experience heaviness, darkness, despondency, confusion, discouragement. Too often we do not recognise it as demonic attack.
The opposite may also be true: people start to rebuke satan, but the main cause is not demonic attacks. First and foremost you must make sure it is a demonic attack or not. So often people think that their situations are caused by demonic attacks, while there may be very logical explanations for it.
In many situations it is God that is dealing with us to show us some fleshly behaviour, un-brokenness, un-forgiveness, bitterness or self-pity in our lives. In every situation it is important to ask the Holy Spirit to show you what is going on. He alone can show us what the real situation is.
Satan works through feelings, especially through relationships with the people in our lives. Many times there will be friction between people – misunderstanding, resentment, etc. Too often however we do not recognise the involvement of demons because the ‘friction’ looks so ‘human’.
Christ has the victory
Jesus gained victory over the devil on the Cross. In 1 John 3:8 we read: “For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil”…”and that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil.”
Heb 2:14.
Confess the finished work of Jesus on the Cross. What is equally important is to know that through the Resurrection you have the Resurrection power of God in you. Remember that the Holy Spirit lives in you. Our victory is through the finished work on the Cross and the power of His Resurrection.
Take your stand in Ephesians 2:5-6 where we read that as Christ-ians, “we are seated with God in Christ. He made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the Heavenly places in Christ Jesus.”
“…That you may know what is the hope of His calling…and what is the exceeding greatness of His power in us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the Heavenly places, far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come.” Eph 1:18-21.
We are sitting with Christ in the Heavens far above all powers.
Praise and prayer
Make much of praise and worship. Praise and worship ignores the devil and focuses on God. It builds our faith. It complies with God’s command that we must praise and worship Him. Make much of thanksgiving, which brings trust, faith and hope. It helps us to see God’s constant provision and trustworthiness. In Psalm 8:2 we read: “Out of the mouth of babies and infants You have established strength because of Your foes to still the enemy and the avenger.”
Persevere in prayer until you gain the victory. Much too often we pray and win a small battle, but do not pray through to complete victory. We see something of this when Aaron and Hur were lifting the hands of Moses in Exodus 17:12. As long as they held up the hands of Moses, there was victory. Sometimes we come into a position of victory, but do not continue until the enemy is fully conquered.
Be on your guard and ready to fight with God’s armour
Remember: eventually satan will come back to attack you again. Sometimes he will focus on the same thing, but other times he will come from a different angle.
Victory does not always come in the same way. Use the sword of the Spirit – the Word of God. Our weapon can be Romans 6:5-6: “Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him.”
Another time victory may come through Revelation 12:11: “They overcame him by the Blood of the Lamb and by the Word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death.” Listen to the Holy Spirit. He will direct you to some definite Scripture verses to pray over your situation.
Christ is our fortress
It may be that someone cursed you or tried to put a spell on you. Make sure there is not any known and un-confessed sin in your life. It is only when there is definite sin in your life that satan can get a foothold. Do not fear curses or witchcraft: “Like a fluttering sparrow or a darting swallow, an undeserved curse will not land on its intended victim.” Prov 26:2.
Make sure you walk in holiness before God. We are protected against all attacks of the evil one to the extent that we walk in holiness and being cleansed by the Blood of Jesus. Take His Name as a place of refuge: “The Name of the Lord is a strong fortress; the godly run to Him and are safe.” Prov 18:10.
Take your thoughts captive
There is always a battle for your mind: We use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments.
We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God. We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ (2 Cor 10:4-5).
Give attention to the words of human reasoning, false arguments and rebellious thoughts. Satan gains much of his victory through false and unbiblical arguments. Bring your feelings and thoughts and ask the Holy Spirit if they are in line with the teaching of the Scripture. His lies and false arguments always lead us into bondage. His arguments will always lead you away from the truth and through this he will gain spiritual victory.
Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal your sin to you
Be careful of vague accusations. Satan will come and tell you that you are too unholy to be saved and because you are sinning so often you must accept the fact that you will always be a second-class Christian and that spiritual victory is not for you. He will come and accuse you of sin, but not of something specific.
When satan tells us about our sin, it is always accusations or vague and general feelings of sinfulness. The Holy Spirit convicts of sin. He is always very specific and will show you a definite sin. Be careful to be introspective. Ask the Holy Spirit to show you the things that hinders His work in you.
You must resist satan. “Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” James 4:7. Too often people will say: “O, I am so weak. I cannot resist him. I do not have power to fight him.”
Remember it is not about your power. It is the power of the Holy Spirit in you and the Resurrection power of Christ that raised you from spiritual death. 
JERICHO WALLS is an interdenominational Christ-ian prayer ministry committed to building a strong prayer network to support the Church to fulfil its calling as a “house of prayer for the nations”.