Ezekiel 16:1-3 Again the Word of the Lord came unto me, saying,
2 Son of man, cause Jerusalem to know her abominations,
3 And say, Thus saith the Lord God unto Jerusalem; thy birth and thy nativity is of the land of Canaan; thy father was an Amorite, and thy mother an Hittite.
Ezekiel is speaking the Word of the Lord to the people of Jerusalem. Naturally speaking, the Jews were descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. And they had been set apart from other nations to be the Lord’s people. So why does the Lord say that their father was an Amorite, and their mother a Hittite?
Their nature had changed because their worship had changed. After their deliverance from Egypt, they worshiped the Lord at Sinai. It was there that God set them apart and claimed them for Himself. He said, “Now therefore, if ye will obey My covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto Me above all people: for all the earth is Mine: and ye shall be unto Me a Kingdom of priests, and an holy nation” (Exodus 19:5-6).
That was God’s will for His people. They were to worship the Lord God, and Him only. Then they would be a peculiar treasure, a Kingdom of priests, and a holy nation. But they didn’t remain true to God, and began worshiping the false gods of Canaan. King Josiah, during his reign, made a tremendous effort to lead the people back to God. Moreover the workers with familiar spirits, and the wizards, and the images, and the idols, and all the abominations that were spied in the land of Judah, and in Jerusalem, did Josiah put away, that he might perform the words of the law which were written in the book that Hilkiah the priest found in the house of the Lord. And like unto him was there no king before him, that turned to the Lord with all his heart, and with all his soul, and with all his might, according to all the law of Moses; neither after him arose there any like him. Notwithstanding the Lord turned not from the fierceness of His great wrath, wherewith his anger was kindled against Judah. II Kings 23:24-26.
How deeply Judah had sunk into the idolatries of the Canaanites! And even with all that Josiah did to turn the people back to God, they went right back to their abominations after his death. Josiah putting away the images and idols, the workers with familiar spirits, etc., did not change the heart of the people. They had experienced a new birth in a negative way. They had become like the Canaanites. Thus, God said their father was an Amorite, and their mother a Hittite. They had become one with what they worshiped.
Their idolatry was not just ignorant worship of an idol, or an image, or the sun and planets. Demonic spirits were involved. Paul said to the Corinthians, “Ye know that ye were Gentiles, carried away unto these dumb idols, even as ye were led” (I Corinthians 12:2). The Corinthians were enticed and led by demonic spirits to worship dumb idols. And so it was with Israel. When they worshiped the gods of the Canaanites, they were opening their hearts to become one with the demonic spirits. A person’s spirit has a porous quality, and worship opens the door of his spirit to what he is worshiping.
To the Jews, who were seeking to kill Him, Jesus said, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin” (John 8:34). A person becomes the servant of what he commits to. And a servant takes on the characteristics and nature of the one served. Whatever he serves becomes his lord and that which forms his life. It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord. Matthew 10:25.
John 8:39-41a They answered and said unto Him, Abraham is our
father. Jesus saith unto them, If ye were Abraham’s children, ye would do the
works of Abraham.
40 But now ye seek to kill Me, a man that hath told you the truth, which I have heard of God: this did not Abraham.
41a Ye do the deeds of your father
These Jews were the natural descendants of Abraham, but their nature was produced by a different source. Abraham was the father of all them that believe (Romans 4:11). But these pharisaic Jews did not manifest the faith of Abraham. They had a different father, and their desire was to kill Jesus.
John 8:42-44 Jesus said unto them, If God were your father, ye
would love Me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of Myself,
but He sent Me.
43 Why do you not understand My speech? Even because ye cannot hear My Word.
44 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.
Jesus didn’t pull any punches. He told them plainly who their father was. What they had become was produced by the devil himself. We must understand what happened to these Jews. Remember, what we worship and expose ourselves to determines what we become. The Jews of Jesus’ day were not involved in Canaanite idolatries, as were the Israelites of the Old Testament. Rather, they were strict keepers of the Mosaic Law. They kept the letter of the law meticulously. So how was the satanic nature produced in them? Instead of worshiping what the law directed them to, they worshiped the law itself. They were guilty of worshiping a religion. The Jewish religion was their lord, not God.
That is a very subtle trick of the devil. If he can get Christians to serve a church organization or religious doctrines and creeds instead of the Lord, he can slowly induce his nature within them. And in the end they will reject the presence of Christ and those who are anointed of Him, just as the Pharisees did.
Many Christians are being deceived in just that manner. They have a form of godliness (II Timothy 3:5), and that is what makes it so deceptive. It looks right. It looks Christian. But it is deadly, because they have made religion lord instead of Jesus Christ. This is the work of seducing spirits in the last days. Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils. I Timothy 4:1.
What we’re talking about is exposure. What you expose yourself to determines what you become. The Israelites exposed themselves to the idolatrous worship of the Canaanite gods, and they came forth in the image and likeness of the Amorites and Hittites. The Pharisees exposed themselves to seducing spirits and were drawn into religious practices without the presence of God, and as Jesus said, they were of their father the devil. The old saying, “What you eat is what you become” is true. If you partake of worldliness, you become worldly. If you partake of religion, you become religious. But if you partake of God you become spiritual, a son of God.
When we expose ourselves to the divine presence of God, we become as He is. Change takes place. True worship exposes the inner man to God, so that we might be changed into His likeness. That is why Jesus tells us to worship the Father in spirit and in truth. But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship Him. God is Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. John 4:23-24. If we are worshiping God in spirit and in truth, then we are changing.
I John 3:2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is.
Every time we receive a revelation of the Lord, it is because He has appeared to us spiritually in some way. We were exposed to His presence. When He reveals Himself to us, so that we are exposed to Him in that revelation, then we shall be as He is in that particular revelation. That doesn’t mean it is worked in fulness at that moment, but the work begins with the revelation of Him. Change begins taking place within us.
When Moses came down from the presence of the Lord on the mount, the glory of the Lord shone upon him, and his face did shine (Exodus 34:29-35). There was a transference of the presence of the Lord to Moses as he stood in His presence. Paul speaks of this to the Corinthian church.
II Corinthians 3:12-15 Seeing then that we have such hope, we use great
plainness of speech:
13 And not as Moses, which put a vail over his face, that the children of Israel could not stedfastly look to the end of that which is abolished:
14 But their minds were blinded: for until this day remaineth the same vail untaken away in the reading of the Old Testament; which vail is done away in Christ.
15 But even unto this day, When Moses is read, the vail is upon their heart.
The veil upon their hearts separated the Israelites from the presence of the Lord. And because of that veil they did not know Christ when He appeared on the scene (John 1:11). The Jewish religion became a wall between them and God. Why are so many Christians not changing? Why is there so little spiritual growth? They have walls between them and God. They are not exposed to His presence.
Some years ago a friend invited me to a Bible study. I remember a comment made by one of the leaders of the group. He said that he did not believe that Christians could change before they got to heaven, that only then would they share in the likeness of the Lord. The reason for his belief was because He wasn’t experiencing any change. He was a Christian; his sins were forgiven. But his old nature was still predominant. His church preached Christ as Savior. Nevertheless, they did not experience the presence of the Lord, because they kept Him in the past and in the future. Preachers build walls between the people and the Lord when they only preach a historical and futuristic Christ.
II Corinthians 3:16 Nevertheless when it shall turn to the Lord, the vail shall be taken away.
The veil is removed and the walls come down when we turn to the Lord; that is, when we expose ourselves to His presence.
II Corinthians 3:17 Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.
The Lord is Spirit. Therefore we must expose ourselves to the Spirit of the Lord. James 2:8 says, “Draw nigh to God, and He will draw nigh to you.” How do we draw nigh to God? Where do we go? How far do we go? It is not distance. It is not a matter of going somewhere. It is a matter of taking your walls down. Open your heart to Him. Expose yourself to His presence. Stop thinking of Him as beyond the clouds somewhere, and realize that He is Spirit and is right here. The way you think can separate you from Him. When you think of Jesus Christ, don’t just think of Him as the Nazarene of Bible days. Realize that He is Spirit and He is omnipresent. Also He is no longer on the cross; He is the Lord of glory.
II Corinthians 3:18 But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.
Here it is, plain and simple. “With open face,” with your walls down, with your inner presence (your spirit) open to His presence. When we expose ourselves to the presence of the Lord, we are changed into the same image from glory to glory (from one level to another, or from one stage of growth to another), even as by the Spirit of the Lord.
God has made it possible for us to escape the corruption that is in the world through lust, and to become as He is. Peter says, “We are given exceeding great and precious promises, that by these we might be partakers of the divine nature” (II Peter 1:4). But it only happens when we expose ourselves to the revelation of the Lord in those exceeding great and precious promises. Exposure is the key to change.
Copyright © 2003 by Henry DuBose