SO FAR WE’VE LOOKED AT various kinds of Spiritual Legal Rights we can offer to the enemy so that he is justifiably entitled to tempt, test or attack us.
•sin done deliberately
•sin done without awareness
•sin done in ignorance
•rebellion, domination, manipulation
•occult activity and idolatry
•refusal to forgive
•refusal to repent
•reaction to trauma or loss of control
•bitter root judgments
•bitter root expectancies
Quite a list! Unholy covenants, however, are in the class of their own. They generally cover all of the territory mentioned above plus much more. They also give over more grounds to the enemy than any other Spiritual Legal Right.
Most people think of a covenant as just a higher form of contract. It’s a lot more solemn and usually involves unbreakable vows. Yes! It does have solemn vows and promises but that’s not what makes it a covenant.
In Chapter 7, of Janice Sergison’s book Spiritual Legal Rights, she quoted these verses from Scripture:
After David had finished speaking with Saul,
the souls of Jonathan and David were knit
together, and Jonathan loved him as himself.
1 Samuel 18:1 BLB
Then Jonathan made a covenant with David,
because he loved him as his own soul.
1 Samuel 18:3 ESV
If we read these carefully, we see what makes a covenant different. It’s a knitting together of two souls into one. The essential nature of covenant is oneness.
And that’s exactly the problem! Unholy covenants bring us into oneness with the enemy. In addition, covenants go on forever. They have no expiry date. This means that they don’t end with the death of the covenant-makers. (Remember David looking for someone in Jonathan’s family after he’d been killed in battle? This was because David understood that an integral part of his covenant with Jonathan was a promise to protect his family.)
So covenants just keep on going. They involve families for as long as the bloodlines exist—or else, until someone revokes the covenant.
Now most people, on learning about covenants, want all of this oneness with an unholy spirit annulled in the next two minutes. But it’s not something to be rushed. It has to be done extremely carefully with the help of the Holy Spirit. There are curses for breaking the covenant.
In fact, some of the curses are probably operational already. Turning to Jesus for salvation would have been a violation of any covenant with an unholy spirit. Violation brings down retaliation and backlash; and revocation brings even more!
So don’t start without consulting your Advocate and Counsellor, the Holy Spirit.
Unholy covenants are the biggest problem as far as generational iniquity is concerned. But how do we know if one of our ancestors covenanted with an ungodly spirit?
We know by the evidence we see; by the fruit apparent in our own lives. If we experience constant constriction and wasting whenever we try to come into our calling, then there’s a covenant somewhere.
It’s possible we may have raised19 the covenant ourselves, through:
•ritual involvement in the occult
•participation in ceremonies with the Freemasons or within a cult
•sexual activity outside of marriage
•participating in worship of an idol through such activities as colouring mandalas, practising yoga,20 and chanting a mantra during a breathing exercise
•entering a temple in a foreign country on a tour
•sharing of blood in childhood as in swearing blood brotherhood or pledging eternal friendship via a ‘witch’s prick’.
Some of these may seem strange. The last two are generally done in total ignorance.
The basic principle behind the list, however, comes from the resolutions of the Council of Jerusalem.21 After the early church had convened to decide what aspects of the Jewish Law that Gentile converts needed to obey, the disciples sent a message to them, saying:
It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us not to burden you with anything beyond these essential requirements: You must abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of strangled animals, and from sexual immorality. You will do well to avoid these things.
Acts 15:28–29 BSB
All these prohibitions are covenant-related. That would have been clear to first century converts who knew that when you ate food sacrificed to idols, you covenanted with the idols. When you indulged in sex outside of marriage, you covenanted with your sexual partner. When you touched blood, you shared the life of another and thus covenanted with them.
I believe this list spells out the principle. I don’t believe it’s the final-for-all-time list of restrictions. This is why I’ve added to the list above. The apostles didn’t need mentioning not visiting foreign temples, because that was automatically implied in not eating food sacrificed to idols. Today, however, we need to be clearer about it.
Most people today, however, are totally ignorant of covenants. And most haven’t actually fallen into the trap of raising one themselves. The issue for most of us is that we haven’t revoked the covenants that our ancestors invoked.
A common covenant that is passed down from one generation to the next is a covenant with Death.22 Back at an unknown point in history, some of our ancestors lost so much faith and hope that they came to believe that God is not all-powerful or all-loving. In their total despair and anger, they concluded that Death is the strongest being in the universe.
And so they came up with the idea of a totally perverted covenant: they made an agreement with Death to protect their family from itself!
Now certain types of covenants between humans are specifically intended for mutual protection: the covenanting partners pledge to defend each other to the death. The same is true of similar covenants between God and humanity.23
It’s totally bizarre and back-to-front thinking to expect Death to defend us from itself! But know what? Unholy spirits will take whatever Spiritual Legal Rights we offer them. They will trade with us, no matter how unfair the deal is.24 As soon as this bargain is made, all the family gets is survival. Their inheritance and calling has been forfeited.
If that’s how you feel—that for as long as you can remember you’ve just been barely surviving—then the reason may be that a covenant with Death has come down your family line.25
Always always always consult with the Holy Spirit about revoking a covenant.
STEPS TO REVOKING A COVENANT
Yet again, the acronym A∙C∙R∙O∙S∙S might help you remember these six steps.
•Acknowledge the covenant
If possible, recognise the ‘strong man’ who holds the deeds to the covenant and thus has your calling and family inheritance legally locked up. Do not insult the ‘strong man’ or even call him a thief.
•Confession of sin
If you raised the covenant yourself, then confess your own sin. If your ancestors raised the covenant, then ask the Lord to allow you to speak in identificational confession. That is, to confess on behalf of your ancestors.
•Repentance for raising the covenant
If you raised the covenant yourself, then repent of your own sin. If your ancestors raised the covenant, then ask the Lord to allow you to speak on their behalf in identificational repentance.
Tell God you’re sorry and you want Him to turn your life around. Ask Jesus to empower the words you speak.
•Renounce the covenant
‘I am saying an eternal “no” to this covenant on behalf of myself and my descendants. It ask Jesus to empower these words and to forbid any retaliation against me, my family, friends, colleagues, loved ones including pets and possessions that I am stewarding for God. I ask God to kiss me with His armour of protection.’
Forgive your ancestors; forgive yourself for taking so long to revoke this unholy covenant.
Ask God to forgive you. And also withdraw any judgment your family has made against God that led them into making a covenant with another spirit.
And this is worth repeating again: don’t forget that we don’t forgive, it is Jesus who accomplishes forgiveness in us and through us. All we can do is ask Him to empower the words we speak.
•Strike down the covenant
Ask God to send recording angels to retrieve all copies of the covenant and to place them at His feet. Ask for it to be annulled and for the spirits that have any claim in it to be rebuked.
•Speak out resurrection life by asking God to send a sign that the covenant is overturned
This often takes a considerable time. The sign of the breaking of a covenant with Death is an ‘unnatural’ event in the natural world. The examples given in Isaiah 28:21 refer to the sun standing still and an inland tsunami. I always ask for gentler and less dramatically destructive things!
One last note about ‘Spiritual Legal Rights’ and their connection with covenants and my apologies (but not many! @) for the relatively heavy-duty theology to finish this chapter.
The Spiritual Legal Rights that are exercised by the enemy over our lives have two sources: one is ourselves, the other is God. We can negate the Spiritual Legal Rights that we ourselves have given over to the satan—and we do this by speaking out words of repentance, renunciation and forgiveness that are empowered by Jesus Himself. However we cannot annul the Spiritual Legal Rights that have been given to the satan by God.
Most people are shocked to discover that God has actually granted the enemy specific Spiritual Legal Rights. The most significant of these rights is found when God pronounces sentence on the serpent in the Garden of Eden.
And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed. He will crush your head, and you will strike His heel.
Genesis 3:15 BSB
That last word ‘heel’ has a double meaning in Hebrew. It is also the word for ‘if’, and ‘if’ signifies a choice. This verse shows that God granted the satan the right to test our choices.
So our attempts to strip the enemy of this right by ‘binding him’—which, in Scriptural context, actually means ‘taking out a legal injunction to stop him’—are futile when his Spiritual Legal Right comes from the Word of God itself.
We have to pass the tests we are set and do so with honour. One of the most common ways believers hand over Spiritual Legal Rights today during spiritual warfare is by abusing, reviling, insulting and dishonouring unholy spirits. Both Jude 1:8–10 and 2 Peter 2:10–12 warn about the consequences of such behaviour.
Don’t do it! And, if you have, go apologise to God.
19The correct technical terms from Scripture for undertaking a covenant are ‘to raise a covenant’ or ‘to cut a covenant’.
20As mentioned in Chapter 1.
21This was the Council where the question of circumcision for Gentile believers was debated and resolved.
22Mentioned in Isaiah 28:15
23Actually this is not the normal covenant most people think of: the blood covenant. In both these cases, it is a threshold covenant that is about mutual defence. See Anne Hamilton, God’s Pageantry: the Threshold Guardians and the Covenant Defender, Armour Books 2015 or any of the series Strategies for the Threshold.
24Remember that the satan is an expert in trade. That is why he was cast out of heaven. See Ezekiel 28.
25For more symptoms of a covenant with Death, see Anne Hamilton, God’s Poetry: the Identity and Destiny Encoded in Your Name, Armour Books 2011 or God’s Pottery: the Sea of Names and the Pierced Inheritance, Armour Books 2016