“Someone is bullying me for so many years, how can I curse him?” asks a man in a Facebook group dedicated to black magick. A lady replies him: “You can bind them or you can use a black doll and put personal items from them in the doll, name the doll with their name, add cursing oils and herbs. You can then torture the doll or you can bury it in [a] cemetery.”
Some Christians – influenced by secularism or church traditions – will dismiss this voodoo rite as a “superstitious practice from the jungles of Africa,” but an entry of the words “How to curse someone” into an online search engine indicates that such occult practices are universal.
The temple of Sulis-Minerva in Bath, England, dating back to the Roman period, has a tablet of 130 curses addressed to the goddess to avenge theft and other crimes. These curses were written in code words spelt backwards (apparently by temple priests) and were often directed at the culprits by occult rites. In appreciation, the clients would cast their votive offerings for the goddess into the temple spring.
Michael Aquino, founder of the satanic Temple of Set, was once interviewed on Oprah and he said:
“We perform human sacrifices by proxy, you might say – the destruction of human beings who would – let’s say, create an antagonistic situation toward us – in the form of curses and hexes.”
Curses are one of the weapons agents of Satan direct against the church. A curse is an evil intention (spoken or written) effected through a demonic agency. It’s an evil spiritual energy directed at a person through objects or rituals. Only a Christian who has his/her head in the sand or has been hampered by ecclesiastical rigidity would reject the reality of curses. Satan’s servants don’t debate on its efficacy either. If curses have not been working for them, they would have quit them a long time ago.
So can a Christian be affected by occult curses? Yes and no. Curses consist of demons and the Believer’s authority confers on him victory over their power. Jesus said: “I have given authority to trample on snakes and scorpions, and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will you” (Lk. 10:19). Notice that Jesus neither denied the reality of Satan nor his power but gave us authority over them.
Authority (Gr. exousia) is the right to exercise power. This right can be violated. Proverbs 26:2 says “a causeless curse shall not come.” This means some curses won’t work if they are undeserved or causeless but they will work otherwise. When a Christian breaks his edge of spiritual protection through sin or carelessness, he will be affected by demonic attacks because the enemy now has a legal right to afflict him.
The story of Balak and Balaam in Numbers 22-24 vividly illustrates this. Balak was a Moabite king who felt his kingdom was threatened but lacked the strength to openly attack Israel. Instead he hired Balaam, a prophet, to pronounce curses on them to weaken them. This is how occult curses work: they cause spiritual and physical weakness (as well as unexplainable sickness, repeated failures, accidents, deaths or tragic circumstances etc). Balaam wasn’t a witchdoctor; he built an altar to God and spoke from God. He was a prophet of God but was ensnared by greed.
God supernaturally intervened to hinder Balaam and when he tried to curse Israel, He turned it to blessings. Why? Because God knew the efficacy of those curses. He didn’t ignore them as empty words or dismiss them as superstitions. Neither should we today. Moses referred to this event saying: “Nevertheless the Lord your God would not listen to Balaam, but the Lord your God turned the curse into a blessing for you, because the Lord your God loves you” (Dt. 23:5).
As Christians, God in His love protects us from causeless curses. His protection over Israel was because they were supernaturally guided day and night by a cloud and pillar of fire (which symbolised the guidance of the Holy Spirit for believers today – Rom. 8:14); they were walking in obedience to His laws and they were following His divine pattern for their lives (see Numbers 24:5-6).
In his failed attempt to curse God’s people, Balaam developed another tactic. He advised Balak to use the Moabite women to seduce the men of Israel, first into sexual immorality and, second, into idolatry (Num. 31:16). How typical. When direct spiritual attacks fail, the enemy usually resorts to sexual seduction.
Once the Israelites fell into this sinful trap, there was no need for the enemy to curse them again, because God Himself dealt harshly with them and 24,000 of them perished. In 1 Corinthians 10:8, Christians are warned against toeing this tragic end today. It’s self-deception for Christians living in outright disobedience to God and hostility with one another to expect His protection from demonic weapons. The good news is this: all curses can be completely broken in the name and power of the Lord Jesus Christ.