We recently attended a conference by Amanda Buys from Kanaan ministries about the impact of the iniquity of our fathers in our lives. This iniquity of the fathers is passed on from generation to generation and impacts every one of us directly. Some of the material we share here is from this conference. This article is, however, only a peek into this topic to show you the relevance and importance of this. For more comprehensive information on this topic, you can go to Amanda’s website.
YHVH is preparing His bride. Through Y’shua we are justified, but justification is not the end of our journey. After justification comes sanctification. YHVH commanded us to be holy for He is holy.
7 â€˜You shall consecrate yourselves therefore and be holy, for I am YHVH your Elohim.
We become holy or set apart by the process of sanctification. YHVH wants us to be set apart people for Him. Sanctification is the process of removing everything that causes separation between us and YHVH. The process of sanctification started for us with obedience to His Word. As we learned how YHVH wanted us to live, we left behind the ways of the world and followed His way. We repented of our lawlessness and became more sanctified. this is an ongoing process, it is a journey. There is, however, more to the process of sanctification. I know this since I have experienced this, I felt that something was holding me back spiritually and I didn’t know what it was. I found the answer in getting free from the captivity caused by the iniquity of my forefathers. This is also a part of this sanctification process and many people donâ€™t realize they they are being held captive.
We are vessels for YHVH’s Spirit, we are tabernacles and just as the tabernacle was to be free from idols and uncleanness, so we must be clean and pure.
2 Timothy 2:19â€“21
19 Nevertheless, the firm foundation of Elohim stands, having this seal, â€œYHVH knows those who are His,â€ and, â€œEveryone who names the name of YHVH is to abstain from wickedness.â€ 20 Now in a large house there are not only gold and silver vessels, but also vessels of wood and of earthenware, and some to honor and some to dishonor. 21 Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from these things, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified, useful to the Master, prepared for every good work.
“These things” refer to wickedness. The ESV translated it as “iniquity.” We are to cleanse ourselves from Iniquity, transgression and sin. Not only ours, but also that of our forefathers.
11 Depart, depart, go out from there, Touch nothing unclean; Go out of the midst of her, purify yourselves, You who carry the vessels of YHVH. 12 But you will not go out in haste, Nor will you go as fugitives; For YHVH will go before you, And the Elohim of Israel will be your rear guard.
This sanctification is a process and YHVH will lead us in this and protect us from it. Allow me to explain why we are captives in need of freedom.
We all sin against YHVH and when we do, He gets angry with us and deliver us to the enemy (1 Kings 8:46-50). Our sin causes a breach in the protective hedge around us, and we become easy targets for the enemy, Satan. It might start off as a small compromise, but will get worse as one compromise leads to the next. Soon, we will find ourselves in captivity. We become captives of our own sin, transgression and iniquity, but especially iniquity. This captivity takes away our freedom. It is bondage that causes suffering. In the case of iniquity, it will even affect our descendants. This is called the iniquity of the fathers. We all suffer as a result of the iniquity of our fathers. Our own iniquity will also cause suffering to us, but also to our children.
21 â€œPrepare for his sons a place of slaughter Because of the iniquity of their fathers. They must not arise and take possession of the earth And fill the face of the world with cities.â€
The sons mentioned here in isaiah will suffer the consequences of the iniquity of their fathers. As in physical captivity, the whole family line is affected. The children are taken captive with the parents and their children will later still live in captivity. It is like that with this spiritual captivity as well. It affects generation after generation, unless those in captivity are set free. Freedom operates on the same principal, if the parents are set free, the young children will be free as well. Older children, who are accountable, are to choose for themselves.
What is captivity?
The word captivity is easy to understand. It means to be taken captive by someone or something. It restricts freedom and may cause you to end up where you don’t want to be.
The Theological Wordbook explains captivity as follows:
Solomon, when he prayed for the people at the dedication of the temple in 1 Kings 8:46-50, prayed to YHVH regarding captivity. He was referring to physical captivity, but we can apply this spiritually as well.
1 Kings 8:46â€“50
46 â€œWhen they sin against You (for there is no man who does not sin) and You are angry with them and deliver them to an enemy, so that they take them away captive to the land of the enemy, far off or near; 47 if they take thought in the land where they have been taken captive, and repent and make supplication to You in the land of those who have taken them captive, saying, â€˜We have sinned and have committed iniquity, we have acted wickedlyâ€™; 48 if they return to You with all their heart and with all their soul in the land of their enemies who have taken them captive, and pray to You toward their land which You have given to their fathers, the city which You have chosen, and the house which I have built for Your name; 49 then hear their prayer and their supplication in heaven Your dwelling place, and maintain their cause, 50 and forgive Your people who have sinned against You and all their transgressions which they have transgressed against You, and make them objects of compassion before those who have taken them captive, that they may have compassion on them.
This passage also gives hope when in captivity. However, while in captivity suffering abounds.
The results of spiritual captivity
Spiritual captivity causes hardship, distress, loss and suffering. When we are in captivity, we don’t live in the abundance YHVH has for us, even if we have chosen to live for Him. Daniel and his friends, who were righteous, were also taken captive. We can live righteously, but be in captivity due to the iniquity of our fathers or our own iniquity due to sins we committed. This takes on the form of generational curses. You may have noticed some patterns within your own family like depression, suicides, child molestations, early deaths or miscarraiges to give you a few examples. These can be due to generational curses.
A good example is an unwanted or illegitimate child. If a child is not wanted, it is rejected and disowned by the father, then the curse of illegitimacy is released. The curse operates for ten generations.
2 â€œNo one of illegitimate birth shall enter the assembly of YHVH; none of his descendants, even to the tenth generation, shall enter the assembly of YHVH.
The way this curse operates is that these children may reject YHVH, even after being raised in a god-fearing home. There are consequences in the form of curses for sin. Deuteronomy 28 and Leviticus 26 gives us a list of the blessings and the curses. These curses can, however, be broken in the name of Y’shua. He can set us all free.
So, even after we become believers, we may suffer the consequences in the form of these curses. Spiritual captivity can take on different forms. It can be ungodly soul ties, generational curses, stongholds in our minds like bitterness and unforgiveness. This captivity may also take the form of physical or mental illness. It can also cause spiritual blindness and ears that are dull so we don’t hear YHVH’s voice, it causes separation between us and YHVH and keeps us back spiritually. When Isaiah was given a vision of his commission, YHVH told him to tell the people the following:
9 He said, â€œGo, and tell this people: â€˜Keep on listening, but do not perceive; Keep on looking, but do not understand.â€™ 10 â€œRender the hearts of this people insensitive, Their ears dull, And their eyes dim, Otherwise they might see with their eyes, Hear with their ears, Understand with their hearts, And return and be healed.â€
This spiritual blindness was due to their sin, transgression and iniquity. Y’shua also referred to this spiritual blindness.
13 â€œTherefore I speak to them in parables; because while seeing they do not see, and while hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. 14 â€œIn their case the prophecy of Isaiah is being fulfilled, which says, â€˜You will keep on hearing, but will not understand; You will keep on seeing, but will not perceive; 15 For the heart of this people has become dull, With their ears they scarcely hear, And they have closed their eyes, Otherwise they would see with their eyes, Hear with their ears, And understand with their heart and return, And I would heal them.â€™ 16 â€œBut blessed are your eyes, because they see; and your ears, because they hear.
Our iniquity, and the iniquity of our fathers, have an effect on us and our children. In Exodus 20:5, we read about how the iniquity of the fathers will be visited on the children, on the thid and fourth generations of those who hate YHVH.
5 â€œYou shall not worship them or serve them; for I, YHVH your Elohim, am a jealous Elohim, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me,
In order to understand this verse better, we need to understand what iniquity is and what it means to hate YHVH. To hate YHVH is to not choose Him. Practicing any form of idolatry is hating YHVH. Those who hate Him, their children will will be affected to the third and fourth generation. This iniquity, they committed will be visited on their descendants.
“Iniquity is to rebel against YHVH. It is a declared and active work of rebellion against YHVH. Rejecting any evidence of Him2“. Iniquity in essence is to reject YHVH and replace Him with an idol/idols. Cain was the first to do this. He rejected YHVH, he didn’t give his best and YHVH didn’t approve of it. YHVH approved Abel’s offer and in jealousy Cain killed his brother. All this had consequences for him and his descendants. There is no evidence in scripture that Cain practiced idolatry, but the fact that he didn’t regard YHVH in giving his best, was an act of rebellion against YHVH. He didn’t choose YHVH and bloodshed manifested as a result of this.
Idolatry is a tree with three roots: bloodshed, sexual sin and occultic involvement. If any of these are present in your family line, you can know that iniquity is present. This iniquity will be visited on you and your descendants.
There is scientific evidence for this.
Research done in the field of transgenerational epigenetics proves that chemical tags attach themselves on the DNA and are passed on from generation to generation. These tags form when someone is exposed to certain experiences like trauma for example.
I quote from the article
Genetic changes stemming from the trauma suffered by Holocaust survivors are capable of being passed on to their children, the clearest sign yet that one personâ€™s life experience can affect subsequent generations.
The idea is controversial, as scientific convention states that genes contained in DNA are the only way to transmit biological information between generations. However, our genes are modified by the environment all the time, through chemical tags that attach themselves to our DNA, switching genes on and off. Recent studies suggest that some of these tags might somehow be passed through generations, meaning our environment could have and impact on our childrenâ€™s health.4
This explains the scientific mode in which the iniquity of the fathers and the curses associated with it can be transferred from one generation to the next. It proves that what we do and experience can affect our children and their children as these tags are passed from generation to generation.
It proves that YHVH’s word is true. YHVH is just, He said it and He will do it. We don’t need scientific proof, but it confirms it when we do. This iniquity of our fathers that is visited on us prevents us to experience abundance in life and the eventual consequence if we continue in this, is death. It holds us back spiritually and may prevent us from fulfilling our purpose in life.
Y’shua came to set the captives free
There is a way out, however. Freedom is found through the blood of Y’shua. Y’shua presented Himself as a guilt offering. He paid the full price for our sins, both intentional and unintentional. He came to set the captives free. Isaiah 61 is written about Y’shua.
1 The Spirit of YHVH Elohim is upon me, Because YHVH has anointed me To bring good news to the afflicted; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to captives And freedom to prisoners; 2 To proclaim the favorable year of YHVH And the day of vengeance of our Elohim; To comfort all who mourn, 3 To grant those who mourn in Zion, Giving them a garland instead of ashes, The oil of gladness instead of mourning, The mantle of praise instead of a spirit of fainting. So they will be called oaks of righteousness, The planting of YHVH, that He may be glorified.
When Y’shua was on earth, He read this passage in the synagogue.
18 â€œThe Spirit of YHVH is upon Me, Because He anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim release to the captives, And recovery of sight to the blind, To set free those who are oppressed, 19 To proclaim the favorable year of YHVH.â€
Y’shua stopped after “to proclaim the favorable year of YHVH.” Here is David Stern’s commentary on this passage:
In Luke 4:18-19, Y’shua confirms that this was written about Him for after He read this passage He said “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.â€
20 And He closed the book, gave it back to the attendant and sat down; and the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on Him. 21 And He began to say to them, â€œToday this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.â€
This scripture has been fulfilled on that day and is still being fulfilled today. Y’shua’s ministry on earth was about justification, but also about setting captives free spiritually. He came to be our perfect example in how we are to obey YHVH. He also drove demons out, healed the sick and gave hope to those bound in sin. Y’shua’s first coming was very significant. As a result of it, we have salvation and eternal life. We also can be free from spiritual affliction and He enabled us to receive the Ruach ha Qodesh. He came to proclaim liberty to the captives and the favorable year of YHVH.
Let’s first look at the meaning of the word “proclaim.”
Proclaim means to read, call out or announce. So, Y’shua came to announce this favorable year of YHVH.
The favorable year of YHVH
What is the meaning of “ the favorable year of YHVH? ” The favorable year of YHVH can refer to the Jubilee, the fiftieth year of the sabbatical cycle. The reason being, this was a year of release.
10 â€˜You shall thus consecrate the fiftieth year and proclaim a release through the land to all its inhabitants. It shall be a jubilee for you, and each of you shall return to his own property, and each of you shall return to his family. 11 â€˜You shall have the fiftieth year as a jubilee; you shall not sow, nor reap its aftergrowth, nor gather in from its untrimmed vines. 12 â€˜For it is a jubilee; it shall be holy to you. You shall eat its crops out of the field. 13 â€˜On this year of jubilee each of you shall return to his own property.
Those who are in slavery due to debt are released in the Jubilee. Y’shua was proclaiming release and restoration to all who have been enslaved in any way. Those who have been enslaved by sin are, in the same way, released from this captivity. The year of release is also the time when people were restored back to the land YHVH gave their forefathers. This favorable year that Y’shua proclaimed, is according to my understanding a period of spiritual restoration. We are still in this period. His kingdom is being restored and readied for His second coming and then the latter part of this passage will be fulfilled in full. It will start with judgment.
One of the reasons I say this is because the truth of His word is being restored. Many people are awakening to YHVH’s truth, including obedience to His instructions. This is part of the restoration that needs to take place before Y’shua’s second coming. Sanctification is part of this process of restoration. For some this sanctification first takes form in returning to obedience to YHVH’s instructions, to others it is release from captivity. Both are needed as we are to return and follow YHVH physically and spiritually. We cannot live in lawlessness and say we follow YHVH. If we do this, we misrepresent who He is and we add to the iniquity already affecting us and our children. Neither can we say we follow YHVH fully, if we are being held back by our own iniquity and the iniquity of our fathers. In order to fulfill the purpose YHVH has for us, we need to be fully His, body, soul and spirit.
As we said before: this spiritual captivity due to our iniquity and the iniquity of our fathers can be reversed through the blood of Y’shua. Yâ€™shuaâ€™s first coming is very significant in may ways. You can read more about Y’shua’s mission on earth in the articles: The secret mission of Y’shua and The spiritual dimention of Y’shua’s acts. In these articles, we share with you the significance of what Y’shua came to do. The most incredible is that He did it for each of us. Yâ€™shua came to set the captives free, but it is up to each of us to appropriate the gift He has given us. The choice is ours.
Freedom comes when we repent of our sin and the iniquity of our fathers and renounce what they established in the spiritual realm with their iniquity. After this we cast our the spirits associated with this iniquity. This is a process and we have to be thorough in this because satan is a legalist and anything that remains established in the spiritual realm, he will use against us. Ask YHVH for guidance in this, it is a journey. A journey to freedom. For more information and help on this, you can go to www.kanaanministries.org. They have a course called â€œJourney to freedomâ€ which may help you on your way. May YHVH bless you in your journey to freedom.
- All quoted passages are from the New American Standard Bible: 1995 Update. LaHabra, CA: The Lockman Foundation, 1995. We have substituted YHVH for LORD and Yâ€™shua for Jesus
- Kanaan ministries
- Cohen, G. G. (1999). 2311 ×©×Ö¸×‘Ö¸×”. R. L. Harris, G. L. Archer Jr., & B. K. Waltke (Eds.), Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament (electronic ed., p. 896). Chicago: Moody Press.
- Stern, D. H. (1996). Jewish New Testament Commentary : a companion volume to the Jewish New Testament (electronic ed., Lk 4:18). Clarksville: Jewish New Testament Publications.
- Brown, F., Driver, S. R., & Briggs, C. A. (1977). Enhanced Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon (p. 894). Oxford: Clarendon Press.