Chapter Four

Taking The Steps to Cut Down The Evil Tree

Examining Your Evil Tree

Knowledge is of little good until we put that knowledge into practice. I often give the person that I am working with a sample of a completed evil tree. Actually this sample tree is a composite taken from several different people's trees. This sample aids the person in seeing what a finished tree may look like and will often trigger hidden thoughts about his own tree.

Please take a blank sheet of notebook paper and draw a line across the middle of the paper. This line represents ground level. On the upper portion of the paper draw the outline of a large tree. The reader may wish to give a title of, "My Evil Tree," at the top. Below the middle line you may draw an outline of some roots for the tree. When I am working with a person, I have the tree drawn out on a sheet of paper before me. I have the person to list their evil fruit and other information while I record it on the paper. I do this because the person may otherwise become very emotional, or confused, or distracted. I also do this because I want to have the picture before me. I want to be able to pray over the tree as we discover the various aspects of it. It gives me the opportunity to see the various connections and reveal some areas in which the person may have blindness. It is very important that both the counselor and the counselee are open to the revelation of the Holy Spirit during this time. The counselor needs to be observant to what the person is experiencing and what the Holy Spirit is revealing.

Let us do some review and summarize. The evil tree represents the body of iniquity that you may find in your life. The fruit on the evil tree represents habitual sins. These are areas of repeated failure. For example, one person for years may have tried to quit getting angry. He knows that it is wrong. He has read various scriptural verses on anger. He prays and repents of the anger when he loses control, but it keeps coming back. He has made numerous commitments to the Lord that he would never get angry again, but he has broken those vows. He ends up feeling like a total failure. He may even feel that God has let him down. The habitual anger is an evil fruit.

Someone else may have a problem with lying or with a drinking or drug habit. You should consider any known bent or drawing toward a sin as an evil fruit. You should realize that some evil fruit exists whether or not you have participated in it. For example, one person that I worked with had some homosexual tendencies, but this person had never acted upon those tendencies. Furthermore, no one considered the person to be a homosexual. You should also include as evil fruit such problems as compulsive behaviors. You should consider overeating, excessive talking, and tendencies toward being a workaholic as evil fruit. You should also include any and all emotional problems such as depression and bipolar behaviors such as manic depression. You should include panic attacks and phobias (fears). The law states, "The LORD shall smite thee with madness, blindness, and astonishment of heart": (Deuteronomy 28:28).

The categories of generational curses may stretch our imaginations. The inability to have children is a curse (Deuteronomy 28:18). The law implies that divorce and adultery are curses (Deuteronomy 28:30). Rebellion or loss of our children is a curse (Deuteronomy 28:32. Having to go into debt is a curse (Deuteronomy 28:44). Our property may be under a curse (Deuteronomy 28:38-42). "And the land is defiled: therefore I do visit the iniquity thereof upon it, and the land itself vomiteth out her inhabitants" (Leviticus 18:25). Marilyn Hickey in Break The Generation Curse, gives a rather lengthy testimony of a couple who purchased some property that had been used in pagan worship by some Indians many years ago. There was a curse upon the land. There was a leafy spurge that had infected the land. They spent a considerable amount of money trying to kill it, but with no success. The poisons that they used began to contaminate their water supply. However, when they broke the curse over the property, the weeds began to turn brown and die.1= (see notes at the end of the book).

Although this book deals primarily with direct sin issues, you can also include any hereditary disease. Disease often develops as a direct result of sin in our lives. When we worry we may develop ulcers or high blood pressure. Some research has linked arthritis, kidney and gallbladder problems to bitterness. When we go to the doctor with heart disease, cancer, or diabetes, the doctor will ask, "Is there a history of this disease in your family?" The medical profession is becoming more and more aware of various diseases, or the tendency for various diseases, being passed from one generation to the next. It would be well to read Deuteronomy Chapter twenty-eight to see the various listings of diseases. Of course the curse also includes all those diseases that are not listed (Deuteronomy 28:61). One may see a further relationship between sin and disease in the book, None Of These Diseases, which was written by S. I. McMillen, M.D. and published by Fleming H. Revell.

You may wish to have a trusted friend, pastor, or Christian counselor work with you on the tree. James exhorts us saying, "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 5:16). Remember, we are dealing in a spiritual area as well as an observable realm. A second person may have spiritual discernment where we may have blind spots. The second person can also give additional prayer support. Jesus promised, "Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done of them of my Father which is in heaven" (Matthew 18:19). There is a multiplication factor involved. Moses states that if one can chase a thousand, then two can chase ten thousand (Deuteronomy 32:30).

A word of caution should be given. As you begin to deal with the enemy where he has set up strongholds, you may experience direct mental or physical attack. Some evil spirits are called familiar spirits. Such spirits may follow a family down from one generation to the next, looking for an opening to enter (I Samuel 28:3). When one commits iniquity and that sin becomes habitual, it opens a door for spirits to enter. Especially, any direct involvement in the occult, palm reading, and fortune telling is an open door. Mind control and fantasy games are extremely dangerous, particularly when a spirit guide is involved. Some of the clients that I have worked with have experienced such symptoms as sudden confusion, migraine headaches, profuse sweating, sudden sleepiness, sharp pains in the back or head, choking or sneezing, and uncontrollable yawning. In some cases the people became dumb and could not speak for a short time.

If the person has had a history of seizures, there may be a sudden onset of a seizure. This is another reason to have someone work with you through the procedure. I usually just ignore minor symptoms. However, with a more severe disturbance, I guide the person to take authority over the enemy in the name of Jesus. We should remember that the enemy is already defeated in Jesus. We should also remember, "... greater is he in you, than he that is in the world" (I John 4:4). In extreme cases when the person was unable to speak or was otherwise incapacitated, I have had to take authority over the enemy myself. Sometimes the Lord gives discernment to me and sometimes he doesn't.

On one occasion, a person came back a week after we had worked through the evil tree and declared that she had seen the evil spirit as it left her mind. She gave a vivid description of the spirit. However, I had been totally unaware of the event. Again, we should remember that a major weapon of the enemy is fear. Fear is not of God (II Timothy 1:7). In fact, we are to fear no evil (Psalms 23:4). Therefore, the preceding explanation is to be for your benefit and not to bring fear to anyone.

Are you ready? The tree is your tree; therefore, you must be the one to put the fruit on it. You should take time and allowing the Holy Spirit to bring to your mind the evil fruit. I often tell the person to put whatever fruit he would like to get rid of on the tree. Remember, this may be habitual sin or just tendencies toward a sin. I know of someone who had a strong drawing toward hypnotism, but did no more than read some books and practice some self-hypnosis. He always had a check in his spirit about hypnotizing anyone else. Once, prior to minor surgery, an anesthesiologist, who had studied hypnotism, gave this man the option of hypnotism. After due consideration, however, he declined. Later, he discovered the spiritual dangers of hypnotism. Also, he found out from a relative that his grandfather had once been rather deeply involved in hypnotism. Upon learning about generational curses, he broke the curse of hypnotism. Since that time, he has had no desire to practice hypnotism or to investigate it any further. Of course, other curses such as diseases, poverty, divorce, or mental illness can also be put on the tree.

The next step is to list any blood related siblings (brothers or sisters) to the right side of the tree. You may be able to take an objective look at the weaknesses and failures that he or she has experienced and list those failures under them. This is not meant to degrade them. However, we can often see flaws in them that we don't see in ourselves. I usually have the person list his siblings and their failures. Then I ask the person, "Do you have any of these failures? Should I put any of these failures on your tree as evil fruit?" Quite often the answer is, "Yes, I also have a problem in that area."

After the looking at the weaknesses of the siblings, I would suggest that you consider the issue of word curses. In the world of the occult, the witch understands the power of speaking word curses over people. Also, in Scripture we find that Noah cursed his very own grandson, Canaan. "And Noah awoke from his wine ... and he said, 'Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren'" (Genesis 9:24-25). That curse was passed along to the descendants of Canaan. Marilyn Hickey points out that the Amorites, the Hittites, the Hivites are all descendants of Canaan.2 = (see notes at the end of the book). Furthermore, Esau considered the words of his father, Isaac, as having a strong effect. He cried out in despair when he found out that Isaac had blessed Jacob rather than him (Genesis 27:34). Word curses are curses that anyone in authority has spoken over a person. This would include parents, grandparents, physicians, teachers, and even religious leaders such as pastors.

Word curses attack the very being of the individual. A parent may say, "I wish you were never born." This would imply that you are unwanted. They may have said, "You are bad seed." A grandparent may give a negative remark, "You are just like so-and-so." A physician may give the diagnosis that you are a diabetic. There is a difference in saying that you have a disease of diabetes and saying that your are a diabetic. The latter ascribes a characteristic to your being. A teacher may state, "You can't do anything right." A minister may announce, "You are an alcoholic." Paul contrasts our past to the present by saying, "And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God" (I Corinthians 6:11). The Word ascribes that every Christian is a saint (I Corinthians 1:2). You may also curse yourself by saying, "I am a failure." I used to curse myself with the words, "I am sick."

Uncovering the Roots

It is now time to look at the roots of the tree. I begin with the individual's father. "What sins, habits, or failures do you know of in your father's life?" I should interject at this point that some people have a great deal of difficulty seeing anything wrong in their parents. A person may idolize their father or mother and have problems looking at them from this perspective. I encourage such a person by saying, "We are not here to condemn your parents, but to correct some problems in your life by discovering the roots." One may simply write the word "Father" on the left side of the page under the middle line and begin listing his sins and iniquities. Quite often sins and iniquities that we think we have buried surface in our minds. As a counselor, I will ask probing questions such as, "Was your father ever involved in the occult or witchcraft?" Often such questions are prompted by the Holy Spirit to reveal secret sins.

The next step is to go to your fraternal grandparents and go through their failures. After you cover the father's side of the family, then you can cover the mother's side of the family in the same fashion. Again, it is important to look at the sins and iniquities of the forefathers in relation to the fruit on the tree. As the sins and iniquities of the forefather are charted, you may discover additional areas of iniquities in your own life. People often ask, "What do you do if you don't know anything about your parents or grandparents?" My response is, "God's grace will take care of that. However, if you have evil fruit on the tree, you can know that it came from somewhere." We can assume that the evil fruit had its beginning in the sins and iniquities of the forefathers. After the tree is completed, I hand the copy of the tree to the person for review. There is often a surprised look on his face. The person may for the first time see the reality of the evil tree and the significance of it. Also, the overall picture may trigger the need to put additional fruit on the tree.

There are basically twelve steps that you may use as a guide for breaking the generational curses. For simplification I have divided them into three categories: "Sharpening the Ax Blade," "Strengthening your Arm," and "Cutting the Roots."

Sharpening the Ax Blade

The first step is to acknowledge and confess the sins and the iniquities of your forefathers. Moses records, "If they shall confess their iniquity, and the iniquity of their fathers, with their trespass which they trespassed against me, and that also they have walked contrary unto me"; (Leviticus 26:40). Nehemiah records, "And the seed of Israel separated themselves from all strangers, and stood and confessed their sins, and the iniquities of their fathers" (Nehemiah 9:2). Jeremiah also gives us a clear example, "We acknowledge, O LORD, our wickedness, and the iniquity of our fathers: for we have sinned against thee" (Jeremiah 14:20). This is difficult for some people, because they have idolized one of their parents or grandparents.

The second step is to personally forgive your forefathers for any iniquity that has been passed down to you. Jesus states in the model prayer, "And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors" (Matthew 6:12). He further warns, "For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: but if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses" (Matthew 6:14-15). Later, in Matthew, Chapter Eighteen, Peter asks how many times one should forgive another. Jesus responds that one should forgive seventy times seven. He simply means to keep on forgiving. People often hold blame against their parents or grandparents. However, Jesus warns that if one is like the master servant who was unwilling to receive forgiveness from his lord, then he will, in turn, not forgive others. The person will, however, demand payment of others' small debts.

Have you ever considered why the lord threw the master servant in prison and turned him over to the tormentors? Why was he to remain in prison until such time he could pay the debt? How could he pay the debt when he would have not a way to work while he was in prison? The Lord was waiting on the servant to come to the realization that he was unable to pay the debt. Remember, the master servant had only asked for an extension of his debt and not for forgiveness. The master servant needed to come to a place of humility. He needed to simply ask for forgiveness and receive it. Then he could forgive his own servant. As we receive grace, then we can give grace to others. Look at the warning that Jesus gives, "So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses" (Matthew 18:35).

The third step is to ask God to forgive the specific sins of now living forefathers. As children of God, we have the priestly authority to forgive certain sins. "Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained" (John 20:23). We should have an attitude of placing the judgment of others into God's hands and then ask Him to forgive them. Jesus spoke to the Father concerning those who were crucifying him, "Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do..." (Luke 23:34). As the religious group stoned Stephen, he declared, "Lord, lay not this sin to their charge" (Acts 7:60).

The fourth step is to confess any participation that you may have had in the iniquities of the forefathers. The Word reminds us, "He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy" (Proverbs 28:13). Paul exhorts us, "Neither give place to the devil" (Ephesians 4:27). If we do not confess our sins, then we give a place for the devil to set up a stronghold in our lives (the soul = mind, will, and emotions).

The fifth step is to ask God to both forgive and to cleanse you. John encourages us by saying, "But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have not sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (I John 1:7-9).

Strengthening your Arm

The sixth step is to submit your will unto God, purposing, with God's help, never to commit those sins again. This is the step of true repentance. To repent means to do an about face. "If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land" (II Chronicles 7:14). James reminds us, "Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you" (James 4:7). We should also understand that God's will and the ability to do that will is in the Christian (Philippians 2:13). The real key is to yield our will to God's will.

The seventh step is to understand that Jesus has suffered the curse for us and overcome all the works of the Devil. Jesus became sin for us. "For he had made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him" (II Corinthians 5:21). The Word is clear about Jesus suffering for both our sins and iniquities. "But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed" (Isaiah 53:5). Paul writes to Titus concerning Jesus Christ, "Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works" (Titus 2:14). "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" (Galatians 3:13-14). "For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil" (I John 3:8). Of course one work of the enemy is generational curses.

The eighth step is to recognize that God is the source of all authority and that He has given that authority to the Church (all Believers) through Jesus. Nebuchadnezzar, the king of the Chaldeans, expressed the authority of God by saying, "... he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou?" (Daniel 4:35). God is the absolute sovereign authority. However, he has delegated that authority to Jesus and ultimately to the Church. Paul's prayer is for Believers to see, "... what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, for above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: and hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all" (Ephesians 1:19-23). Again, I must emphasize that Jesus delegated the authority that he had to Believers. Jesus firmly declared, "Behold, I give unto you power (authority) to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you" (Luke 10:19). We, through the finished work of Jesus Christ, have the authority to declare that the generational curses are broken.

Cutting the Roots

The ninth step is to use the authority of the name of Jesus. Jesus declared, "And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; they shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover" (Mark 16:17-18). Jesus furthermore stated, "And in that day ye shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you. Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full" (John 16:23-24). I believe that we far underestimate the power and authority in the name of Jesus. He has given us the power of attorney to use his name according to his will. Paul says that we are ambassadors for Christ (II Corinthians 5:20). An ambassador is a representative sent from one ruler to another. Our ruler is Jesus. Our home is in heaven, but we are his representatives here on earth.

The tenth step is to declare the power of the blood of Jesus. The Word explicitly states, "And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission" (Hebrews 9:22). On one occasion I was working with someone who was being controlled by evil spirits. I spent a frustrating hour talking with the person. In reality, I was in a mind and word battle with the spirits that controlled the person. There was to be a thirty minute break before I was to meet with the person again. I thought, "This is ridiculous! Jesus has already had victory over the enemy and all his powers." I earnestly asked the Lord what to do. He directed me to go to a computer and make a copy of New Testament scriptures on the blood of Christ. When the counselee returned, I instructed her to say nothing, but to listen. I instructed a person helping me to read each of the verses, one at a time. After my assistant read a verse, I made a declaration of faith over the counselee. As we began the process, the counselee sat glaring at me. In a few moments she began to lower her head in a state of shame. However, by the time that we finished the process, she was sitting up straight. Her countenance had become soft and her eyes were clear. She was free! "And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death" (Revelation 12:11).

The eleventh step is to declare that all the curses are broken, naming each of them: words, actions, and attitudes. A witch doctor may speak a word curse over someone, but Christians have the power in the name of Jesus to break curses by declaring that they are broken. Jesus exhorts us by saying, "Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven" (Matthew 18:18-19). Christians have the power to bind and loose in the spiritual realm. Jesus spoke to a fig tree and dried it up by the roots. The next day when Peter saw the dead tree, he recalled the words of Jesus. Jesus immediately responded, "Have faith in God. For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith" (Mark 11:22-23). We should note Jesus' emphasis on speaking. We should also see the potential of the effects of our speaking.

Let us look now at a summary of what is being done. Open your Bible to Romans, Chapter Six, and read the entire passage. Allow me to give a few words of clarification. If you are reading from the King James Version you may want to change the word translated into to the word unto. This is a proper language translation. I would also make one other change for clarification in verse five. The words planted together can better be translated grafted together. When we make a faith commitment to Jesus Christ as our Lord, then through a spiritual baptism, we become united with Jesus, retroactively. We are joined unto Christ!

Whatever happened to Jesus also happened to us. Well, what happened to Jesus? He died on the cross. So we also died. He was resurrected. So we also were resurrected. "Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin" (Romans 6:6). Do you see the picture? When Jesus was crucified, that old evil tree of ours was also crucified with him. That body of sin (the fruit on the tree) was destroyed, that we should become free from it. A dead dog can't bite! Neither can the old man if it is crucified.

Please take note of the following verse. "Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord" (Romans 6:11). The word "RECKON" means to consider it to be an accomplished fact. We must start with the spiritual fact. Then we add to that spiritual fact revelational knowledge of that fact. Next, we add to the revelational knowledge a confession of truth. This is exactly what we did when we declared that the curses are broken. When we believe what we say and it agrees with the Word, it becomes an appropriated reality.

Step number twelve is to begin to speak blessings over your life even as God has. God has blessed richly, even as he had blessed Israel. Balaam the prophet declared, "How shall I curse, whom God hath not cursed? or how shall I defy, whom the LORD hath not defied?" (Numbers 23:8). "If Balak would give me his house full of sliver and gold, I cannot go beyond the commandment of the LORD, to do either good or bad of mine own mind; but what the LORD saith, that will I speak" (Numbers 24:13). Brothers and sisters in Christ, we have been blessed with the blessings of Abraham. "Christ hath redeemed us from the curse ... that the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles [most of us are Gentiles] through Jesus Christ..." (Galatians 3:13-14). Paul says that we have been blessed with "all spiritual blessings in heavenly places" through Jesus Christ (Ephesians 1:3).

Go to Chapter Five or return to Evil Tree Menu.

Returned to Menu or Return to Home Page