In Ezekiel 17&18, Pastor Armstrong talked about generational curses. Could you expand on that beyond the third and fourth generation? I have a relative that is under the impression generation curses can cause us harm today, whereas I understood that it's regarding only Israel and the law in itself.
Though we cannot provide you with a scripture reference denying generational curses, because it is impossible to prove a negative (i.e., to prove that something doesn’t exist), nevertheless we can show in the Bible where the Lord directly contradicts such a suggestion in Ezekiel:
As Pastor Armstrong explains in his Ezekiel teaching, the Lord took offense at Israel’s suggestion that He held children accountable for the sins of the father and denies doing so. Those who claim God condemns the children for the father’s sin as a “generational curse” are repeating the same error and show themselves to be ignorant of the Bible, since Ezekiel 18 clearly refutes such a claim.
Those teaching that a generation curse can be found in the Bible, typically go to Deuteronomy 5 to support their belief – yet they misinterpret the passage in defense of their false teaching:
The Lord declared in the Law that His punishment to Israel for idolatry would be so severe that it would impact the people for multiple generations. Is this a contradiction of Ezekiel 18? No, because the Lord wasn’t saying that He was holding the children responsible for the parents’ sin. Rather, the Lord was saying that the punishment on the parents would be so severe that it would last for several generations, but only the parents were to blame.
What was this severe punishment? Exile into Babylon. Because of idolatry, the nation of Israel was sent into exile, and that exile lasted 70 years…which is 3-4 generations in length (a generation is ~20 years) just as God promised. So Deuteronomy is not a general promise for all people or all situations. Rather, it is a very specific promise of God only to Israel and only regarding exile for idolatry.
Therefore, Deuteronomy 5 is not a “generational curse,” and in fact there is no such thing as a generational curse in the Bible at all – not for Israel nor for Christians. Such a thing is pure fiction built on a misinterpretation of the Scripture.