Anyone well-acquainted with a healing ministry or prayer counselling will be aware of the importance of forgiveness and repentance in both the life of an individual and in their bloodline. When there are repeated issues that afflict one generation after another after another, then it’s clear dark covenants are still in operation or else unresolved sin has passed down the ancestral line. Some form of complicity, active or passive, is still present in the current generation.

Once identified, these issues are usually simple to deal with: we invite Jesus, through the power of His Cross, to activate the words of forgiveness we speak towards the original perpetrators as well as our words of repentance regarding our ongoing collaboration with the spirits they served.

Quite often, miracles result from this simple request to Jesus to annul the covenants that have come down through our family tree.  Sometimes, however, the issue we are facing is not so much a defilement descending down our bloodline but down our faithline. 

We forget that we are part of two families—a natural one and a spiritual one. We belong to a family of flesh-and-blood and we belong to a family of faith. And the family of faith passes on just as much corruption and iniquity as any natural family. The faithline is tarnished similar to the bloodline.

Now unfortunately we can be a bit loose in our language when it comes to identifying our spiritual attackers. There’s a tendency, for example, to identify Jezebel, Ahab, Athaliah, Absalom and the like as malevolent spirits when, in reality, they were people who were influenced by and deeply complicit with dark forces. We’d never dream of labelling Joseph, Elijah, Abraham or Noah as malignant powers, even though their actions are as seriously questionable at times as those others we condemn.

Our traditional biblical villains are reframed as hostile spirits, thereby dishonouring people created in the image of God. Our traditional biblical heroes on the other hand are reframed as stars with haloes so luminous we’re blinded to their flaws.

We notice, for example, Ahab eyeing off a lush plot of ground and stealing another man’s inheritance for the benefit of his family, but we don’t notice who did it first. If we judge Ahab, then we must also judge Joseph who disinherited the Egyptians, removed them from their ancestral plots, and gave the finest pastureland in the Nile Delta to his family.

Recently I’ve been trying a new approach in prayer ministry. For want of a better name, I’ve dubbed it ‘faithline cleansing’ and it’s exactly analogous to bloodline cleansing. By ‘faithline’, I mean examining Scripture to find the first recorded person in the family of faith to commit a particular sin.

For dispossession of land by the government, it’s not Ahab but Joseph. He’s also the one who invented forced resettlement, not the Assyrians.

For dispossession by deception, on the other hand, it’s Jacob facilitated by Rebekah.

For slavery, it’s Noah who cursed his grandson Canaan.

For abuse, it’s Sarah. And for looking the other way when it came to that abuse and thereby aiding and abetting it through neglect, it’s Abraham.

For toxic favouritism, think Isaac and Rebekah.

For theft and manipulative cover-up, consider Rachel.

For procrastination so serious when it came to obeying God that, if the delay had not occurred, an entire series of wars would almost certainly have been prevented, pick Elijah.

For putting innocent people in harm’s way and causing fatalities through his deception and half-truths, none other than Abraham.

What about hatred and jealousy? Depends if there’s murder involved. If not, then Jacob.

Conspiracy to murder? Judah.

Torture? David, apparently.

Political cover-up of rape and subsequent neglect and silencing of the victim? David (and no, it’s not in the matter of Bathsheba.)

Now you may have been easily able to identify the various episodes in the stories of the patriarchs, prophets and kings that these comments refer to. But most likely, it will have been quite hard. The accounts of our designated biblical heroes have been spin-doctored by masterful impression managers so that we gain the most positive view of their actions. Unfortunately a lot of those impression managers belong to our own era—they are the translators who always choose the most benign interpretation of a hero’s actions, even when ancient texts like the Septuagint are undeniably harsh.

But, as Jesus said, ‘No one is good except God alone.’ (Mark 10:18 ESV)

And as Paul confirmed, ‘None is righteous, no, not one.’ (Romans 3:10 ESV)

My recent experience says we need to look at faithline as well as bloodline. And we need to forgive those in the family of faith who wrought iniquity, just as much as we need to forgive those in our natural family tree.

There is only one hero in Scripture. His name is Jesus.

This is Grace Drops and I’m Anne Hamilton. May the Holy Spirit reveal your faithline this day.

Thank you to Lorna Skinner of for the background music.

Dealing with Lilith: Spirit of Dispossession is now available for pre-order.