the leprous house

             and the new stones

 

  This important subject might at  first glance appear to be con-

  centrating on something which is negative.       In one sense this

  may be true– however, it is an integral part of the subject that

  is dealt with elsewhere, link to 'the Lord's day'-8th Vision.

  The completed spiritual House of God  is a work      which is still

  progressing, and  not all materials prove to be suitable for the

  Divine habitation through the spirit. Link to 2nd Timothy 2

  concerning       "vessels..to honour, and..to dishonour..in    (the)

  great house" of God. The choice as to which class we shall be

  found to belong is entirely our own,   and  the result will be re-

  vealed in the Day of Christ when He returns to the earth.

  And it is true that when  we re-identify with  the Truth, though

  it may involve a withdrawal process, it is a very positive thing.           

 

  References to  the  leprous  house  are  found  throughout  the

  Bible, and the student  will  be  rewarded  with a much deeper

  understanding and appreciation of  the great events which are

  being supervised by "the master of the house"-   Mark 13v35.

  It is instructive at the outset to realise  that 'stone' & 'son' are

  from the same Hebrew derivation.  This points us to the appli-

  cation which we should make-  cp 2nd Corinthians 6v14-18.

 

  The subject is focalised in Leviticus 14v33-53.     This "leprosy"

  or  "plague"  may  be  a  'dry    rot'    or    similar fungal infection, 

  which would corrupt the house.                A  fungus  'Merulius

  Lacrymans' has a reddish-greenish colour-cp v37.   Whatever

  infection is meant,  the following process  is to be employed in 

  treating the infection,  and we now look  at these instructions:

 

  1. If the infection is confirmed, v36, 37, the house is "shut up..

      seven days".

  2. The priest inspects the house  on   the 7th  day,  and if the in-

      fection  has "spread in   the walls",  he commands that "the

      stones in   which  the plague   is (are)  cast...into an  unclean

      place without the city".

  3. All residue of  infection is taken  away,  and "other stones",

      which are clean,are used to replace  the original ones which

      were removed.

  4. "And if  the plague come again, and  break out in the house,

      after that  he hath taken away the stones, and after  he hath

      scraped the house, and after it is plaistered; Then the priest

      shall come and look, and, behold, if the plague be spread in

      the house, it is a fretting leprosy in the house : it is unclean.

      And he shall break down the house, the stones of it, and the

      timber thereof, and all the mortar of the house; and he shall

      carry them forth out of the city into an unclean place"-

                                                                                          v43,44.

                               ON THE OTHER HAND

      "And if the priest shall come in,  and  look upon it,  and be-

      hold,   the plague  hath  not spread  in    the house,    after the

      house was plaistered:   then the priest  shall  pronounce the

      house clean, because the plague is healed".

 

                        ATONEMENT FOR THE HOUSE

      The  procedure  to  be  followed is set out in v49-53,  and

      reference  will  be  made  to  this  during the  exposition.

 

      Firstly, however, we wish to set out a suggested prophetical

      import of the inspections and cleansings of the house, which

      will  give  us  a reference frame for these important events.

 

         V33-38:  THE FIRST INSPECTION & QUARANTINE

 

      Prophetically  this  points  to  the  work  of  the prophets, of

      whom God testifies in Jeremiah 7v25-

      "Since the day that your fathers  came  forth out of the land

      of Egypt unto this day I have  even    sent unto you all my ser-

      vants the prophets,  daily rising up early and sending them".

      The result of these  repeated  inspections was shown in v26-

      "Yet they hearkened not unto me, nor inclined their ear, but

      hardened their neck:  for they did worse than their fathers".

 

      The effort to identify &  limit the spread of the infection was 

      the purpose of the law. This   condemned   the sinner, but had 

      no power to redeem - link to 'grace'. The "house" was to be

      "shut up..seven days"- i.e. a complete period.Paul speaks of

      those under the law of Moses as         "shut up unto the faith

      which should afterwards be revealed"- Galatians 3v23. This

      principle is applied to all outside of Christ in v22        (the word

      translated 'concluded' is the same as that rendered   'shut up'

      in v23). It needed the Redeemer to set us free from"the pris-

      on house",    "the bondage of corruption",    Isaiah 42v6,7,22;

      61v1 (quoted Luke 4v18); Romans 8v21; Hebrews 2v15-     the

      endless cycle of sin and death universal since the Fall.

 

      It is a sign of the mercy of God that  a period is firstly given

      for an improvement before  sterner  measures are taken for

      the preservation of the House of God. However it is obvious

      that failing a change for the better,  there is no other option

      than to remove the infected stones and to replace them with

      clean stones, so that the building might be revealed in glory.

      This is the subject of the following section in Leviticus 14.

 

        THE FIRST APPLICATION OF THE REPLACEMENT

                          OF THE INFECTED STONES

 

                     V39-42: THE SECOND INSPECTION AND

                                   CLEANSING OF THE HOUSE      

      

                      BC721/605 onwards–  the Assyrian  and Babylonian

                      captivities,  when the  infected nation was taken into

                      "an unclean place" in the lands of the nations.

                      During the time of the captivity,  Jeremiah,  Ezekiel,

                      and Daniel were some who  made  preparations  for

                      the  next  stage  of re-building..the time came for the

                      return from Babylon in BC539.."other stones" were

                      placed in  the spiritual  house,  when  men  like Ezra 

                      and Nehemiah led the way  in  the  renewal  process.

                      Their  books,    together  with  those  of  Haggai  and

                      Zechariah,  testify  to  the  sterling  efforts put forth.

 

                      V43-47: THE THIRD INSPECTION AND

                                    CLEANSING OF THE HOUSE

 

                      AD30 -70 -  again  the house  became infected-  "the

                      plague (came) again,  and (broke) out in the house".

                      The matter was  serious, &   the "high  priest for ever

                      after the order of Melchisedec"-Hebrews 6v20;7v21

                      made an  urgent inspection of the house.     And when

                      He saw  the  corruption  in  the  temple,    He   acted to

                      limit the damage, and  prophesied  of  the    imminent

                      removal of  the  infected  house  into the lands of the

                      Gentiles by the Romans.       He also taught that clean

                      stones would be  used  in  regenerating    the  original

                      House of God. Consider carefully the following:

 

                      Matt. 3v7-9;23v33-39;John 2v13-17;Luke 19v37-46;

                      21v5,6.       - cp "the day of their (thy) visitation"

                                           Jeremiah 8v12 and Luke 19v44                              

 

        THE SECOND APPLICATION OF THE REPLACEMENT

                            OF THE INFECTED STONES

 

                       V39-42: THE SECOND INSPECTION AND

                                     CLEANSING OF THE HOUSE

 

                       AD30 -70 -   the infection  was confirmed,      and the

                       nation  was  taken  into "an unclean place"-   that is

                       the Gentile lands throughout the earth.          "Other

                       stones"  which were  clean  and  non-infected   were

                       placed in  the  spiritual house.      These  are  "lively

                       (living) stones"   suitable   for  "a  spiritual  house"

                       which are  built on  "the  chief  corner  stone..which

                       the builders rejected"- 1st Peter 2v5-7.

                       The  all-important  question  now  was, would these

                       new stones  be  able to withstand the corrupting in-

                       fluence of sinful human nature?

                       The verdict of history is that   once again,    the same

                       re-introduction  of the will of the flesh  has  resulted

                       in renewed infection of this regenerated house.

 

                       Those who  have  recognized  this,  and desired to re-

                       main  firmly  founded  upon  the  "foundation" of   Je-

                       sus Christ"   and  "the  apostles  and  prophets"  will

                       "grow unto  an  holy  temple  in  the  Lord..an habita-

                       tion of God through the spirit"-       1st Corinthians 3v

                       11; Ephesians 2v20-22.     But this is  only  possible if

                       they  keep  themselves  from the contamination so ev-

                       ident  about  them,    even  amongst  those  claiming  to

                       be followers of Christ.   It is true that we all need for-

                       giveness for our sins- "For all have sinned, and come

                       short of the glory of God"-Romans 3v23.  But this in-

                       disputable fact  cannot be used  as an excuse to allow

                       the contamination of sin to continue amongst us.

 

                       Infection (natural or spiritual) spreads by contact -

                       whether such contact is direct or indirect:

                       cp  Haggai 2v13,14; 1st Corinthians 5v6; Galatians  5v9

                       1st Timothy 5v22;2nd Timothy 2v16,17;2nd John 10,11

                       & this principle was taught clearly in the sin of Achan

                       (='to trouble') and his family. Their judgment in

                       "the valley of Achor(='troubled')" was forever

                        remembered in Israel - see Joshua 7.                                 

                        - link to 'fellowship''2nd Timothy 2'.

                        

                        We now await  the  third  and  final   inspection of the

                        leprous house renovated with new stones by the min-

                        istry of  Jesus Christ,  His  apostles,  and  those  who

                        have followed, throughout nearly 2000 years.

                        There is "a time to cast away (unclean) stones" - but

                        also "a time to gather (clean) stones together"...

                        Ecclesiastes 3v5. This noble work continues today.

 

                        It was necessary, because of the rejection (in the main)

                        by the Jews, to ( as pre-determined) preach the Gospel

                        to the Gentiles (nations)-  Acts 13v44-49;  Col.1v25-27.

                        The  quality  of  our  building    will be "revealed by fire;  

                        and  the  fire  shall  try   every man's work of what sort 

                        it is"- Ephesians 2v13. Infected material will perish.

 

                        V43-47: THE THIRD INSPECTION AND

                                      CLEANSING OF THE HOUSE

 

                        This,  the  final  inspection of    the spiritual House of

                        God, is almost due to take place. The enemies of the

                        Truth   have striven  mightily to  deny entrance to the

                        ones wishing to  participate in  this noble enterprise.

                        However,    they cannot succeed, for our loving Heav-

                        enly Father  has provided the "keys" to  allow those

                        wishing to enter into  this  great  work to do so. Any

                        attempt  to deny them entrance is doomed to failure-

                        for  the  Scriptures  have been made  available to all.

                        2nd Timothy 3v16 - link to 'foundation'-'statement'.

                        

                        Soon  "Jesus..an high priest for ever after the order

                        of Melchisedec"-  Hebrews 6v20-7v21 will return to

                        examine the "living stones" which have been placed

                        in the House of God. Sadly, some  will  have   allowed

                        "a fretting leprosy"- v45 ( unrestrained sinful flesh)  

                        to continue  in themselves &/or in their associations.

                        But those within whom  the  word  of God has dwelt

                        richly will be  pronounced  as  clean,   and invited to

                        enter that  eternal House which shall abide for ever-

                        John 14v1-3 - link to 'the Lord's day'-8th Vision. 

 

 

                                      ATONEMENT FOR THE HOUSE

 

                        We noted earlier that  a specific formula was set out

                        for the cleansing of the house in Leviticus 14. We do

                        not have the time to  go into this  in  minute  detail- it

                        has been dealt with  by others quite  adequately,  but

                        let us notice  one prominent feature.    Two birds are

                        used in the cleansing process.    One is slain, and the

                        blood used to "sprinkle the house seven times". 

 

                        The other bird is   "dip(ped) in  the blood of the slain

                        bird" & is afterwards "let go..out of the city into the

                        open fields"*.    Thus is made "an atonement for the

                        house"- see v48-53. Note one important fact:

                        THIS ATONEMENT    WAS  ONLY AVAILABLE IN

                        THE CASE WHERE       "THE  PLAGUE HAS NOT
                        SPREAD IN THE HOUSE"- v48.

                        In this case alone "the priest shall pronounce the

                            house clean, because the plague is healed".

                        (*the "Lord Jesus"  was  "brought  again  from the

                        dead..through   the blood  of   the  everlasting  cove-

                        nant" Hebrews 13v20-as pre-figured by the 2 birds-

                         cp the 2 Passover/Firstfruits lambs & the 2 goats -

                                                       link to 'feasts'                       

 

                        It is  highly  significant  that        the Lord Jesus Christ,

                        "Who was delivered for our offences       (as the slain

                        bird)..was raised again for our justification     (as the

                        freed bird, which 'rose on the wings of the spirit')"-

                        Romans 4v25- &   was "esteem(ed)"  as "stricken" -

                        Isaiah 53v4,8  =   the same and related words in the

                        Hebrew to the word    translated as the  "plague"      of

                        leprosy, both of  a person and  a house  in       Leviticus                       

                        13 and 14. But Isaiah tells us that it is

                        "WITH HIS STRIPES WE ARE HEALED"-v5.

                         The Hebrew word for "healed" is also used for

                         the healing of  the leper and  the leprous house.

                       

                         LET US,  IN THE FEW DAYS  LEFT TO US,

                         TAKE FULL ADVANTAGE  OF  THIS  GRA-

                         CIOUS PROVISION - SO THAT WHEN THE

                         HIGH PRIEST APPEARS,     WE  SHALL BE

                         PARDONED FOR THE  LEPROUS  FAULTS                         

                         WE ALL HAVE  BY THE NATURE OF   THIS                

                                  "SINFUL FLESH" - Romans 8v3….

                         "O wretched man that I am!    who shall deliver

                         me from this body of death?            I thank God

                                   through Jesus Christ our Lord"-

                                                                     Romans 7v24,25mg.

                         "God (has) condemned sin in the flesh"-

                                                                     Romans 8v3.

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