The Teachings of Leprosy

What is it?

There are frequent allusions to leprosy in Scripture. Two whole chapters in Leviticus (chaps. 13 and 14) are taken up for its consideration. They form a divine treatise on leprosy. Just what divine teaching about it is we may therefore expect to find there.

At the outset of our inquiry we must remind ourselves that “all these things happened to them as types, and have been written for our admonition” (1 Cor. 10:11, J.N.D.). So then there is “admonition,” or instruction, for us as to that of which leprosy is a type.

But of what is leprosy a type? It is of primary importance to be clear as to this. Is it a type of “sin in the flesh,” the natural inheritance of every child of Adam? Or is it a type of sin in its activity — in its out-breaking and outward manifestation? Is it a type of sin in the sinner — whether in the evil nature or its outward manifestation? Or is it a type of these in the believer as well?

The distinction between sin in the flesh (the inward corrupt nature) and the manifestation of that nature in positive evil works, ought not to be difficult to realize. Scripture clearly makes that distinction. It speaks of “sin in the flesh” (Rom. 8:3) and of the “body of sin” (chap. 6:6). We read also of “sinful flesh” and of “sin in the mortal body.” These passages clearly refer to the inherited corrupt nature which every child of Adam possesses.

On the other hand we read of “the works of the flesh” (Gal. 5:19) — things in which sinful flesh manifests itself — deeds which speak of the sinful nature’s activities.

With which of these two things is leprosy connected in Scripture? A search with the concordance will easily convince one that the Holy Spirit’s use of the term “leprosy” is the symbol of sin in activity. This activity may take different forms: it may be the working out of the “desires of the mind,” or the “lusts of the flesh;” in either case it is sin at work — the sinful nature manifesting itself in outward deeds.

That this is applicable to the mere sinner in his sins will, I think, be admitted by all. It will not be necessary, therefore, to dwell on this application, and we may proceed at once to inquire, Is it applicable to the believer? With the list of cases of leprosy mentioned in Scripture before us, we cannot for a moment doubt it is. If it were mentioned only in connection with those outside the acknowledged relationship with God, then we might question it; but such is not the fact. We are forced then to conclude that leprosy, as a type of sin in its activity, has an application to the believer as well as to the unbeliever — to a saint as well as to a mere sinner in his sins. And why refuse the application? Is the activity of sin in a believer less heinous to God than it is in an unbeliever? Must not the government of God be concerned with it in the case of a saint as well as in the case of a sinner in his sins? To say it is not would be a serious reflection on the character of God.

Now the attentive reader of Leviticus 13 and 14 will easily observe that leprosy is considered in three connections. It is looked at as connected with a person, a garment, and a house.

Leprosy in a person speaks of something in the person’s character — what he is. It is some natural characteristic in exercise; some feature of the “mind of the flesh” displaying itself. “The mind of the flesh is not subject” to God. It is “enmity.” This insubject mind manifests itself in acts of disobedience, in which some feature peculiar to the person’s natural character, as in alienation from God, is exhibiting itself. It is the will in exercise in opposition to the will of God.

In connection with a garment, leprosy speaks of the sinful nature’s activity as occasioned by the circumstances in which we move. If our activities are not according to God’s holiness, they will induce habits unsuited to His character and nature. It is not of a person’s natural characteristics that we speak, but of a course of conduct and habits to which the person conforms, thinking perhaps that they are necessitated by the circumstances in which he is. How dreadful this bondage to conditions that are not of God.

Leprosy in the house speaks of the home, the dwelling-place of the believer, where the moral influences are such as to become abhorrent to God. The moral character of a believer’s home should be founded on holiness. The tone and moral influences of the place should be such as to exercise a sanctifying effect; but if they are unholy, the truth is nullified, and the character of God is compromised.

Now if the believer’s home in its moral character is a picture of the house of God (and who will deny it?), then what is here applied to the dwelling-place of the individual believer, applies to the local assembly as well, for in its own locality it represents the whole house of God. And what characterizes the dwelling-place of the holy God should characterize every local assembly. There should be nothing in it that is destructive of the holiness of God — nothing that compromises His holy name or blasphemes the Holy Spirit.


Having glanced at the various connections in which leprosy is mentioned, let us turn to God’s method of dealing with it. Let our inquiry be, What has God revealed as His way for us to deal with leprosy? If we study these chapters with a true desire to know God’s mind concerning these matters, we shall find most important instruction.

The first thing to be considered is the fact that leprosy is a matter for priestly discernment. One in whom there was leprosy, even the suspicion of it was to be “brought unto Aaron the priest, or unto one of his sons the priests.” The garment was to be “shown unto the priest.” The “owner of the house” was “to come and tell the priest.” The priest here speaks of spiritual discernment — that discernment which is the fruit of nearness to God, of the enjoyment of God’s word in communion with Him. Now this makes the Scriptures the judge of what leprosy is. In having to do with it, acquaintance with the mind of God, as revealed in His written Word, should be sought. Without this acquaintance there is no proper capacity to judge or discern. Spiritual understanding is the fruit of the truth held in communion with God: the mind, conscience, and heart exercised by it. Alas, how many forfeit their right to deal with evil through lack of spiritual discernment. What a sad spectacle is a man dealing with leprosy apart from fellowship with God and the ability which the word of God alone gives! Let us keep in mind that if called on to discern evil, we need spiritual discernment.

The spiritual mind will find provision has been made to secure him in a right judgment. While on the one hand there must be no flinching from judgment in a plain, clear case, on the other hand there must be no undue haste to judge. If the case is not clearly manifest when first investigated, it must then be watched. Things that differ must be distinguished. There must be no confounding with leprosy what is not in fact that. A mistake, an unintentional error, being suddenly overtaken in a fault, anything in which the mind of the flesh is not really working, must not be mistaken for leprosy, which is the mind of the flesh in active opposition to the will of God. In how many cases, time to observe and to watch is necessary. What seems to be symptoms of leprosy may be indeed ground for suspicion, but it is not ground for judgment. If there are suspicious indications, then they are to be carefully watched until it becomes clear whether it is a real case of leprosy or not.

On the other hand there should be no negligence, or indifference. Our instructions, simply submitted to, will preserve us from this as well as from hasty judgment, for they give us infallible evidence of what is really leprosy. Spiritual decay (the “hair turned white”), while always present when evil is active in a person, may also result from other causes, and hence must not be the sole ground for judging a case to be leprosy. But if this is found in combination with the energy of inward evil (a “spot deeper than the skin”), then it is a clear case. Spiritual discernment will distinguish between mere surface signs — what is merely casual and unintentional — and signs of deep-seated evil.

Again, there must be discernment whether the energy of spiritual life has overcome the evil, or if the evil is in present activity. If through the power of the spiritual life there is frank, sincere acknowledgement of the evil, and submission to the judgment of God upon it in the light of the cross of Christ (“all the skin covered”) it is not a case of evil at work. In this case there is deliverance and recovery.

Again, there are various weaknesses and infirmities which attach to us all, but which priestly discernment will readily distinguish from leprosy. Still these things may develop into leprosy, or be the occasion of its setting in. While they need careful attention they must not be confounded with the activity of inward evil.

The same carefulness and spiritual discernment must be used in the case of leprosy in a “garment” or in a “dwelling.” “The judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.” How needful always to remember this.


Let us now consider what is the proper procedure when priestly discernment finds it is a plain, manifest case of leprosy. We read, “The priest shall look on him and pronounce him unclean.” We have already seen that the word of God determines for us what leprosy is. There should be no hesitation in declaring a person to be what the word of God says he is. No considerations of any kind, whether personal or social should deter us from accepting the plain judgment of Scripture. We need to remember always that the judgment of a case is not ours. The word of God judges it for us. We are responsible to acknowledge the judgment which the word of God gives. It is not our judgment that makes a leper unclean. We declare him to be unclean because the word of God tell us he is so. It is just a question of obedience to what the word of God declares. It does not matter whether it is leprosy in a person, in a garment, or in a house; the case being determined by the word of God, we are to submit to its judgment.

But this is not the whole matter. When according to the word of God a case of leprosy in a person is plainly manifest, there must be no hiding or covering over the fact. The leper’s “clothes shall be rent, and his head bare,” is the express command of the Lord. The marks or signs of his uncleanness must be put upon him. He is unclean not to the elders and fathers merely, but to all; not only leading brethren, but all in God’s house must be shown that he is under the condemnation of God’s word. Divine holiness must vindicate itself, and God demands that His people shall stand openly with Him in His abhorrence of sin.

Putting upon the leper the marks of his uncleanness, in submission to God, will result in his own proclamation of his defiled condition. Publicly manifested as living in wilful disobedience to the word of God, in antagonism to the holy will of God, he is a witness of his uncleanness.

Again, we read, the leper “shall dwell alone; without the camp shall his habitation be.” The camp of the Lord must not shelter an unclean person. “Put away from among yourselves that wicked person” is the commandment of the apostle. It is not only that he is to be refused his place at the table of the Lord, but he is to be denied all Christian fellowship, and this as long as the plague of leprosy is upon him — as long as he continues in his defiled condition. How much sorrow and trouble has resulted from forgetfulness of this plain requirement to “put away from among” ourselves! How often Christian intercourse has been maintained with one who has been publicly branded as unclean, and thus been comforted and encouraged in his course of evil! What a solemn thing to thus interfere with the discipline of the word of God!


As to the case of leprosy in a garment, there were two distinct forms of procedure. In the one case, the whole garment was burned in the fire; in the other, the part invaded by leprosy was rent out of the garment. The first case pictures a whole condition of things in which we move, or live, as evil: the principles or conditions on which the practical life rests, not being according to God, are unholy. They must be given up. The destruction, the burning, of the entire garment tells us this plainly.

In the case where only a part of the garment was affected, it was first washed and then watched. The washing with water typifies the subjection of our circumstances, or conditions in which we move, to the word of God. If after doing this the evil remains, then the garment is to be destroyed; for whatever the external appearance fair as it may seem, the evil is seated in what underlies, in what is fundamental. Hence the whole condition is unholy, and must be abandoned. On the other hand, if the submission of our circumstances to the test of God’s word proves that the evil is not in the underlying foundations on which our practical lives rest, then the external things in which the evil is must be given up. How all this tells us of God’s concern about our ways! Holiness surely becomes those who are in relationship with a holy God.


Now as to the case of leprosy in a house. First, in connection with the believer’s home. Let us notice that the instructions concerning leprosy in a house were given in anticipation of Israel’s dwelling in the land of Canaan. In their possessing that land we have a type of the believer’s entering, in the power of faith and of the Spirit, through the word of God, upon his heavenly inheritance.

Perhaps some may ask, Is it possible that leprosy should be connected with this? Yet as we read, “When ye be come into the land of Canaan, which I give to you for a possession, and I put the plague of leprosy in a house of the land of your possession,” we must answer it is possible. Is it not true that a believer ought to establish his dwelling place on Christian ground? Should it not be a Christian home? — a home where heavenly things shall be enjoyed? Surely this must be admitted. But, alas! how many have become leprous! How much activity of inward evil there has been in connection with heavenly things! Have not the things of Christ been often prostituted to worldly and fleshly ends? Plainly, leprosy in a believer’s home is quite possible.

But how shall it be treated? First, the owner of the house shall “tell the priest.” If we see indications of something wrong in our homes; if we feel that somehow God is not getting His true place; if it seem to us that the things of Christ are not used in holiness, let us submit our homes to the scrutinizing eye of God, and test them by His revealed mind given us in His written Word.

The next point is that while this examination is going on, there must be proper effort to protect all who dwell there. There should be no hasty publication of suspected evil, no unnecessary occupation with it. It should not be allowed to be a matter of gossip. At this stage it is simply a question of what the trouble really is. This is to be discovered by priestly exercise. “Emptying the house” speaks of godly care and concern lest there be unnecessary defilement through hasty or needless occupation with the evil. But if after patient examination and careful watching it becomes evident that serious evil is there, then proper effort must be made to correct the condition of things. Taking “away the stones” tells us of removing what seems to be the source of the evil. “Scraping within,” points to clearing away the results of the presence of evil. “New stones,” “other mortar” and “plaster,” plainly point to effort to re-establish the home according to the holy claims of God as declared in His written Word. If after all this effort to save the house the evil again breaks out, it becomes evident that the evil is not in some special part, but in the very constitution of the house; then the house must be destroyed. No home must be owned as a Christian home that is not at least established on Christian ground and maintained according to the truth of Christianity.

Another matter must also be mentioned. We read, “Moreover he that goeth into the house, all the while that it is shut up, shall be unclean until the even.” While the professed Christian home is under suspicion, is being examined and watched, there should be no expressed fellowship with it. To enjoy its hospitality, for instance, would expose us to the condemnation of God’s word. It would be contracting defilement, to be removed only by submitting ourselves to its claims upon us, involving confession of having acted contrary to those claims. Only so could we “wash our clothes.”

To “go into the house,” even, was to “be unclean until even.” I take it that this applied to the priest who examined the house as well as to any one else. The very occupation with evil, however necessary, is defiling. It has effects on the mind until we return to what is our normal state — occupation with Christ and His Word. How solemnly all this speaks to us! True, it is not leprosy that is contracted by the one who has been obliged to have to do with it, yet the having to do with it temporarily defiles, and there is need of special application to one’s self of what God has written — of an examination of one’s ways and circumstances in the light of the truth of God.


In the application of leprosy “in a house” to the local assembly, the first thing to remark is that the “owner of the house” is clearly a type of Christ. It is He who by His Spirit produces in the souls of those who seek subjection to the word of God, a sense that the condition of things is not in accord with the Word. Yet there must be no hasty judgment. Christ in us, like Joshua of old, is dependent on Eleazar — that is, on the exercise of Christ’s priestly service in heaven. The “owner of the house” telling “the priest” speaks of this dependence. There is to be no dealing, even with evil, apart from this priestly work — no dealing with it in independency of Him in whose blessed hands God has put all the affairs of His beloved people.

If there is this dependence upon the priestly service of Christ, there will be due consideration of the spiritual state of all in the assembly in undertaking to deal with the evil. The priest was to “command that they empty the house before the priest go into it” to inspect it. There should be no unnecessary occupation with the evil — no hasty publication of it, no occupying the minds and hearts of the saints with it, and due regard as to their ability to have to do with it; endeavoring to protect them from contamination and infection with the evil. This speaks of the need of ministry of the Word by which a suited spiritual condition of soul shall be attained or established.

This done, the evil of which there is suspicion can then be investigated: “And afterward the priest shall go in to see the house.”

But in investigating the matter there is need for the same patient care that we have seen was enjoined in all the other cases of leprosy. It should be manifest whether it be a real case of evil, or not. There should be no procedure to judgment on what is merely suspicion, or on a matter that has not been made perfectly clear, so that any conscience enlightened by the word of God will be clear about it. It must be manifest that it is a real case of present activity of evil.

When this is ascertained through priestly exercise, the ministry of the mind of Christ, of His attitude towards the evil, the next question is, Is the evil merely local — that is, in some individual, or a few individuals? Or, is it fundamental — that is, is it in the constitution of the house? Does it permeate and characterize the assembly, or is it characteristic of some individuals only? To ascertain this the first step is to deal with the individuals in whom the evil seems to be — the centres and sources of it — the persons who seem to be this. The command of the priest was, “Take away the stones in which the plague is.” This, put into New Testament language, is “Put away from among yourselves that wicked person.” The character of the holiness of God, who dwells by His Spirit in the house of God, demands that no profane person be owned as proper material for that house. It is not merely that the person is to be rebuked, or put under discipline, or even denied the privilege of breaking bread. He is to be “put into an unclean place,” which means much more than all this we have spoken of. It means that, as characterized by the evil manifestly working in him, he is unfit material for a place in God’s dwelling. He is to be denied all Christian fellowship. Liars, railers, blasphemers, and such like persons are not Christians. If a believer acts so, his profession does not make him a Christian in practice. Even he must be “put away,” denied all Christian fellowship, treated as unfit for Christian intercourse. For those who truly submit to the claims of divine holiness, the place of such an one is the “unclean place without the city,” — that is, the place of judgment.

Having put away from among ourselves the individuals in whom the evil seemed to centre, it then devolves upon us to seek to remove the effects of the presence of evil. Submission to the priestly exercise of Christ will result in what is typified by “scraping the house within,” and “pouring out the dust that they scrape off without the city into an unclean place.” This is solemn work, yet necessary and wholesome. There will be need to free ourselves (by conformity to the claims of God’s word) from the influences that evil exerts upon us. We have not done all when we have put away the wicked person. Exercise of conscience, examination of heart in the light of the truth should not end here, but go on still. Alas! how general is the failure here! May the Lord stir us up to covet not only the removal of the wicked from among us but deliverance also from the dust of wickedness — the unholy effects of its presence.

Getting thus into conformity with the mind of Christ as to what is suited material for the house of God, we will be able to maintain the claims of divine holiness. As those who are co-builders with God we will maintain the true character of His dwelling-place. “Stones” and “mortar” of divine formation (that is, those in whom, by the power of the Spirit through the word of God, the Christian character is formed) will be the material which we will regard as alone suited for the construction of God’s house. The thought underlying our work as builders “together with Him” will be, The “temple of the Lord” is not to be deified.

But suppose now, after all this effort to remove the evil and remedy the effect of its presence, the evil again breaks out, and it turns out that the trouble is not only in some individuals, but in the fundamental construction of the assembly — what then is to be done? We are still dependent on the priestly activity of Christ. When the priest found the plague broke out again, he was told he must “break down” the house, and carry all its material “out of the city into an unclean place.” An assembly characterized by evil, not simply in individuals, but in the constitution of the assembly itself, has no title to be owned as an assembly of God. To those whose thoughts are formed by the mind of Christ it will be a profane thing, and to be treated as such.

But some one says, Where is there any scripture for judging or cutting off an assembly? The answer is here in Leviticus 14:45. It may be said, ‘Oh, that is an Old Testament scripture, and does not apply’. Well, the Lord and the apostles again and again used Old Testament scriptures to enforce New Testament doctrine. Following their example we should not hesitate to use the above passage in this way. But further, we are told that Old Testament Scripture “is profitable” for us; that it was “written for our admonition.” What is written about leprosy in a house therefore has some application true and good for the present time. If we are able to gather what the application is, then we may legitimately use the passage in enforcing the application. If the application is right according to the mind of the Spirit, then the passage applied is authoritative, and demands our submission as having the stamp of divine authority.

It will be said, perhaps, that the cutting off of assemblies is not taught in the New Testament, and therefore cannot be regarded as New Testament doctrine. But is it not taught in the New Testament? Does not the apostle tell us to follow righteousness, faith, love, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of an unmixed heart (2 Tim. 2:22, Greek)? If then the unmixed heart ceases to characterize an assembly; if, while professing to be an assembly of God, it is characterized by unholiness, and thus condemned by the word of God, how can I be obedient to Scripture unless I judge, or separate, from it? Is my hand tied to evil because it is an assembly, instead of an individual? Must I allow in an assembly evil I condemn in an individual? Is not such an assembly a vessel to dishonour from which I am to separate? It is scriptural then to cut off assemblies if they become characterized by a plague of evil; we are to treat them as profane.

There are yet other lessons to be noticed. Even necessary occupation with evil in an assembly is defiling. “He that goeth into the house,” all the while that it is under inspection, defiles himself. From this defilement even the priest, it would seem, could not escape. It was defilement which lasted only till the even. So, spiritually, when occupation with evil is over, with return to the rest that occupation with the word of God gives, the defilement passes away. If going into the house while it was under inspection was defiling, how much more “lying” in it, or “eating” in it! The defilement in the latter cases, however, was of a different character. “Lying” and “eating” in the house would seem to express a certain measure of fellowship with what is at least suspicious. It suggests the thought of carelessness about evil, if not of open opposition to what is being done to bring it to light. How much of this there is. It is plain that here we have the symbols of improper conduct in connection with an evil that is being inquired into. To clear one’s self of this, the clothes must be washed. One’s conduct in connection with an assembly under inspection needs to be brought into the light of the word of God, and its judgment of it submitted to. May we all have grace for it.

How all this instruction with regard to Leprosy solemnizes the soul. God is plainly impressing on our minds that holiness becomes His presence. He would have His people in the constant sense of it. Let us hear His appeal to care for and guard the holiness of His name.


The subject of healing and cleansing, in connection with leprosy, now demands our consideration. It should be noticed that there is a distinction between these two things. Healing is not by cleansing, nor is cleansing by healing. It is the healed one who has to be cleansed.

Healing is that work of God in the soul which results in confession and self-judgment. The place of judgment is frankly accepted as duly required by the holiness of God. When the leper is thus healed, it must be clearly ascertained; priestly discernment is required. His own profession is not the evidence. The priest must “look.” His state of soul must be ascertained. The evidence of the healing will be that the spiritual life has re-asserted itself and opposition to God has ceased. The acceptance of the place “outside the camp” — the place of judgment, not by profession merely, but as unreservedly submitting to God and His word — will be proof of healing.

But now that the leper is healed he yet needs cleansing, and this is by priestly exercise. The priest sprinkled the healed leper with the blood of a sacrifice seven times. Typically, this sprinkling of blood upon the leper speaks of the ministry of the truth of the believer’s association with the One who died for him, rose again, and has gone into heaven to appear there for him. Thus, linked with Christ in heaven, he is not alone delivered from the due of his sins, but also himself dead with the Christ who died for him to the world in all its extent. This had been forgotten, but by priestly activity it is now afresh ministered to the purification of the conscience. Thus restored to the enjoyment of the truth of association with Christ in heaven, the priest declares he is clean. A moral and spiritual purification by priestly service has been effected in the heart and conscience, and he is clean. The priest’s declaration that he is clean is that priestly service by which under the government of God pardon is administered. This is a remission of sins which is committed to us to grant.

This will result in a purification of another kind. The work of recovery thus far effected will enable the one being cleansed to solemnly review his life in the light of the word of God, and accept that word as applying both to his walk and to himself. This is what washing “his clothes” and “himself,” and “shaving off all his hair” speaks of. It is the cleansing of himself according to the word of God.

Now he finds liberty to take his place among the people of God, to “come into the camp.” He is restored to the place of privilege and fellowship. But, though clean for this, there is yet further recovery to be effected. After coming into the camp, we read, he “shall tarry abroad out of his tent seven days.” This suggests the need of practical intercourse with the people of God, the enjoyment with them of the portion and privileges that are theirs. This is progress in practical recovery, which results in his cleansing himself still more fully according to the truth of the word of God. This “seventh day” cleansing of himself is the effect, the fruit, of holy occupation with divine things in the practical enjoyment of them with the people of God.

Then on the “eighth day” he is by priestly ministry presented “before the Lord at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation.” Sacrifices, all of which speak of Christ, are offered; and the blood applied to the “right ear,” the “thumb of the right hand,” and the “great toe of the right foot.” Then after sprinkling the “oil seven times before the Lord,” the oil is put where the blood has been put, and also upon “the head.” As thus sprinkled with blood, and anointed with oil, he stands at the door of the tabernacle, while priestly service goes on at the altar. All this clearly speaks of priestly ministry, by which there is recovery to communion with God in His thoughts about Christ and His atoning work. This speaks of realizing again what clearly had been forgotten — the divine claims to ear, hand, and foot on the ground of Christ’s purchase by His blood, and dependence on the Spirit of God to meet those claims, and preserve the mind in holy occupation with God’s interest and joy in Christ and His sacrifice. It is this that completes not only the recovery, but also the cleansing. While priestly service goes on at the altar and an odour of a sweet smell (the acceptability of the sacrifice of Christ) is delighting the heart of God, the recovered and cleansed leper stands before God with heart and conscience fully purged, to realize the blessedness of his portion as in communion with God. How much is thus implied in the words, “And he shall be clean!” He has got back to God to find with Him a happy dwelling-place. Into “his tent” he now goes, in the realization that he is dwelling with God.

What a change this, from insubjection to God and perverse opposition to His will, to participation with God in His joy in Christ! And what grace in God to thus recover and cleanse one who has allowed his sinful, corrupt nature to have sway.


But few words are needed to bring before us the cleansing of the garment in which the plague of leprosy has been healed. We have seen already that the garment has been washed. The specified waiting time has passed, and priestly discernment finds no evidence of leprosy being present in the garment. The simple instructions are, “Then it shall be washed the second time and shall be clean.” A second submission of our ways and habits to examination by the light of the word of God will confirm us in ways that are suited to God — clean ways. May we welcome the scrutiny of our ways by the eye of God as we find how that holy eye looks upon them in the Scriptures which tell so perfectly what His will concerning us is.


In the cleansing of the house where there has been leprosy, the same priestly ministry was exercised as in the cleansing of the individual leper after the priest had pronounced him healed. It shows there is need of the ministry of the truth of association with Christ in heaven — the Christ who has died out of this world. Whether we apply the “house” to the home of a believer or to the local assembly, the need is the same. The result of each priestly service is the recovery to, and enjoyment of, the truth of identification with Christ. The effect of such recovery will be seen in the maintenance of God’s claims on the ground of this identification. It is a moral change — a cleansing.

We have seen something of the teaching of the Spirit of God in connection with leprosy. Shall we take it to heart? Shall we seek to conform ourselves to His mind and ways? It is deepest blessing to do so. The admonition, the instruction, the solemn warnings, are for our good. Shall we miss the good thus intended for us?

May God in His blessed grace grant us both to hear His voice and be subject to it. Let us seek to realize, as He surely desires that we should, that whether it be ourselves personally, our habits and ways, our homes or the assembly, He has claims upon us, by the death of Christ for us, that we should hold the sin that is still in us under the condemnation He has put upon it. May we remember He has “condemned sin in the flesh;” and this we shall always need to do if we seek to escape leprosy.