Many years ago, I realized something was amiss in our counselling with teenagers who were involved in drugs and the occult. There was another wave of suicides in our city, mostly among boys. We had a measure of success and in the beginning of counselling, these kids seemed to experience a breakthrough. However, in a couple of months, some of them had cooled off and backslidden into most of their old ways. I started looking for a common denominator and spent some time fasting and praying. Then one day I found several answers:


  • These boys all had poor relationships with their fathers
  • They were connected with each other through circles of friends • They all smoked weed and used LSD
  • They all listened to the same style of music and in fact, were Nirvana fans whose music was very depressing with strong suicidal overtones



I asked the Lord for a solution and was led by the Spirit to Malachi, the last minor prophet in the Old Testament. In fact, it was in the very last few verses of the book that the answer jumped out of the pages at me, or so it felt. This is what it says in Malachi 4:5-6


“Behold, I am sending you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of Jehovah. And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the sons, and the heart of the sons to their fathers, that I not come and strike the earth with utter destruction.”




Now the section above these two verses explains why God intervenes in this way through the power of the Spirit of prophecy. These fathers had forsaken their responsibility to their children through a lack of Biblical instruction. They had not taught their children the disciplines of the Word of God as fathers are supposed to. In Malachi 4:4


“Remember the Law of Moses My servant, which I commanded to him in Horeb for all Israel, the statutes and judgments.”




If parents, especially the fathers do not instruct their offspring in the Law and doctrines of the Bible, so as to live accordingly, each generation will become further removed from God, resulting in utter sinful living which is a disgrace to God and to the destruction of all men. The land will become lawless and unruly and people will treat each other with utter disrespect and disdain resulting in wholesale crime and barbarism.




In some of the ancient civilizations, drugs and witchcraft were the downfall of once proud and mighty empires. Some become so degraded that they even sacrificed their own children to dead idols like the ancient Incas and Aztecs. In this modern civilization, we do not throw our babies into the fire, we kill them in the womb. We might not offer our teenagers on altars dedicated to Moloch or Baal, but we do sacrifice them to Mammon in the name of living in a respectable suburb and driving the latest model SUV.




We must not be fooled, teenagers of today are extremely perceptive, deadly honest and straightforward. They are not impressed with double standards and hypocrisy. If you want to wear the label of Christian, you better live like one or they will turn their back on you and seek family where there is reality. That is one of the reasons why so many turn to paganism and drugs. They experience acceptance and radical beliefs among those practising it. I realized that it is futile to spend hours counselling teenagers while their parents live dysfunctional lives themselves. Many fathers when they get home head straight for the liquor cabinet to pour a whisky. They plunk themselves down in front of their other addiction, the TV for their daily fix of idolatry while their teenagers are craving some fatherly love and guidance. Meanwhile, his wife has been stoned on antidepressants or tranquillizers since early morning. The quickest way to raise a rebel is to withhold, godly discipline salted with large doses of spirit-filled love and instruction. They start believing that you as a parent do not love them because you are violating a spiritual law by withholding disciple and correction.




Now coming back to the Scripture in Malachi chapter 4 verse 6 we can find a cross-reference to the verse in the New Testament in the gospel of Luke chapter 1 verse 17. This refers to the ministry of John the Baptist doing his preparatory prophetic work of paving the way for the Messiah. He does this in the same Spirit which worked through Elijah. This means that Christ, through the work done on the cross, which is a work of reconciliation, will reconcile sons to their fathers and vice versa. When fathers are born again and filled with the Spirit, the same prophetic Spirit will flow through them to their children thus reconciling them to God.




This adapted content was extracted from Regeneration Versus Rehabilitation, authored by Dr Ado Krige, the Founding Director of House Regeneration, a South African drug rehabilitation centre offering a comprehensive discipleship training program. By applying principles of Biblical Therapy, using the Scriptures to teach, rebuke, correct, and train in righteousness, House Regeneration counsellors show anyone who has suffered from addiction how to fully understand why they do what they do and how to bring their belief systems in line with the Word of God.