II. THE CLEANSING OF THE LEPROSY IN A HOUSE
In 14:49-53 we have the cleansing of the leprosy in a house, that is, the cleansing in a church.
A. In the Same Way as the Cleansing of Leprosy in a Man
Leviticus 14:49-51 reveals the leprosy in a house is cleansed in the same way as the cleansing of leprosy in a man. This signifies that the whole church experiences once again the suffering, death, resurrection, ascension, and entering into glory with Christ. In order for a church to be cleansed, the church needs to experience again the processes through which the Lord Jesus has passed.
B. The Purging of the House with the Blood of the Bird and the Living Water
“Thus he shall purge the house with the blood of the bird and the fresh water, and with the live bird, the cedar wood, the hyssop, and the scarlet” (v. 52). This signifies that the whole church needs to be cleansed with the eternally efficacious blood of Christ and His eternal and living Spirit. Hence, we always depend on the blood and the Spirit, both of which are seen in the type. In the type we have the blood of the slain bird, the water, and the oil. The blood of the bird signifies the blood of Christ, the water signifies the cleansing Spirit, and the oil signifies the anointing Spirit. When a church becomes sick, it needs these two elements—the blood of Christ and the Spirit—to recover it.
C. Letting the Live Bird Go Free over the Open Field
“Then he shall let the live bird go free outside the city over the open field” (v. 53a). This signifies that the church enters with Christ into the realm and experience of His resurrection and ascension. When a diseased church is healed, surely this church will not remain on an earthly level but will rise up to the heavens and soar in the heavens. Nothing will be able to hinder, restrict, restrain, or bind such a church. As long as a church is on the earthly level, it will be bound by the earthly ties. But when the church enjoys Christ’s resurrection and ascension, the church is above the earth, enjoying freedom in the heavens.
D. The House Being Clean
Leviticus 14:53b says, “Thus he shall make propitiation for the house, and it shall be clean.” The house being clean signifies that the church is fully clean to be the mutual dwelling of God and man.
Often there are problems in the church. It seems that in the church life problems are unavoidable. With a new church there are few problems, if any, but with an older church there are more problems. Just as it is easy for an older person to become ill, so it is easy for an older church to have problems.
Perhaps when you came into the church life, you enjoyed a church honeymoon. However, a church life honeymoon, like a honeymoon in married life, does not last very long. During our church life honeymoon, we may think that the church is marvelous, that it is a real paradise. However, when the honeymoon is over, our eyes will be opened to see all the problems, defects, and shortcomings in the church. Just as the eyes of Adam and Eve were opened after they ate of the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and they knew that they were naked, so our eyes will be opened to see things that are not positive or pleasant. If we dwell on these things, we shall want a separation from the church life and eventually a divorce.
We need to realize that the church is the best place on earth. What, then, shall we do about the problems in the church? We should pray to be renewed in the experiences of Christ. We should not pray too much for others or about the situation. Instead, we should pray for ourselves that we might be able to bring something new of Christ into the church life. This is the way for a diseased church to be healed. Sometimes a church will be healed through the new experiences of the new ones.
The more we experience Christ in a new way, the more the church will be healed. A diseased church cannot be healed by discussion, argument, and debate. The more we engage in these things, the more trouble there will be. We need to pray for ourselves and for the church that through the new experiences of Christ we as members and the church as a whole may have a new start and enter into a new age. This is the only way for a diseased church to be healed.
(Life-Study of Leviticus, Chapter 44, by Witness Lee)