Tom Young - Leprosy - Thoona, Victoria, Australia Convention - 2004

Matthew 10:8, "Cleanse the leper." It never says heal the leper, but heal the sick and raise the dead, etc. II Corinthians 7:1, "Let us cleanse ourselves of all filthiness of the flesh and spirit." He didn't say "You should cleanse yourself," but "Let us." In spiritual leprosy, there's an unclean additive. They loose feeling. A man had it had the doctors didn't know what he had, but he knew a doctor a long way away and he told him to come down. He was sitting in his home smoking and the cigarette was burning his fingers and he never felt it. Paul wrote the Ephesians of some that were past feeling, working all uncleanness with lasciviousness. We might have come here feeling that we've made little progress this last year, or conscious of our shortcomings, but be glad that you can still feel. It's sad when people get passed feeling.

There are two kinds of leprosy: one weakens people and the other cause them to pick up other diseases easily.

Leviticus 13-14:45-46, "The leper in whom the plague is... has to cry out unclean, unclean... he shall be defiled and without the camp. He can no longer have fellowship with clean people." People who are sensual and separate themselves from where there are clean people.

Leprosy is called a "living death." They say that 30% of leper's children get leprosy. If a person gets leprosy, this uncleanness can affect the children. Get clean so it won't affect your children. It's an uncleanness that's unbecoming. When a person gets wrong, disease came upon them. (Deuteronomy 28)

Four people that got leprosy:

1) Miriam, Numbers 12, because of jealousy. She got jealous of the place where Moses was and she was smitten with leprosy, but just for 7 days. It held up the whole camp and it can infect others. Saul got jealous of David. He couldn't stand to see them praising David. Peter would've said, "Well, if he's not man enough to do it, it was good there was someone else to do it."

2) Naaman. II Kings 5, pride was his cause of leprosy. The little maid had a wonderful testimony. The man of God just sent His servant to say the word. He thought he'd come out and do some great thing over him and went away wroth. He thought the rivers of Damascus were so much better. But his servant came and spoke to him. If the prophet had told him to do some great thing, would he not have done it? So humbled himself. It's a wonderful thing when you see a proud man humble himself.

3) Elisha had a servant and he got leprosy because of covetousness, greed. Elisha didn't want any of his fortune. These things of God's kingdom are too precious/valuable. You can't pay with money. He said, "My master sent me." That was a lie. Then Elisha asked his servant where he had been. He said, "Nowhere." That was the second lie. Elisha said, "Did not my heart go with you?" He became a leper unto death. In the religious world, there is a lot of greed and covetousness, and we can get too covetous, and too ambitious.

4) II Chronicles 26, Uziah - presumption: taking the place that isn't yours. Maybe he thought that the priests weren't fast enough. Sometimes people that aren't in the ministry can step in and take over. He was a king, but it wasn't his place. He was a leper until he died. Their could be a lot of other vices that could be like leprosy and make us unclean, so that we could no longer be with clean people.

Leviticus 13:12-13, "If leprosy covered them from head to foot, and they were all white, they were CLEAN. It's when it breaks out in raw flesh that it's unclean." I can't say that I have no pride. All have it and some more than others. Jealousy: we all have some, but when it is controlled by God, it's clean. God gives people control. That's a word that's not in the Bible, but we need it. God gives us strength and grace to control. Covetous and presumptuous: Seeking the help of God and keep all these things under. Paul said, "I keep under my body.. lest after I've preached to others, I myself should be a castaway." We can be thankful to be in fellowship with people with a control. Uncontrolled temper, jealousy, lusts, all start with uncontrolled thoughts. Thinking how bad someone is to others and yourself and you can't even be civil to him. It's sad when people let it break out into a quick, raw sore.

It speaks of garments and houses having leprosy, too. I visited a couple once and in the short stay there, they told me something four times. I didn't mind. They wanted to talk about it. They had a 15 year-old daughter and she was giving them a hard time. They were so embarrassed about her. She was a rebel. They hardly knew what to do. She went to a convention and miracle took place and she came home a different girl. She asked her mum for two big garbage bags and took them into her bedroom. First, she cleaned the house - she took down from her walls some pictures, then from her dresser other things and put them in the garbage bags. Then she went through her wardrobe and put more things in the garbage bag - quite a few things that weren't becoming for a child of God. Then she put them outside and asked her father to get rid of them as soon as possible. I believe he took a special trip to the Tip. Two weeks later, she was in an accident and killed instantly. She'd got things straightened out before. The girl came home cleansed from leprosy in her flesh, heart, and spirit. Then she cleansed her house and her garments. There was no more leprosy in her. She went into Eternity clean. If people will get cleansing in the flesh, the other cleansing will follow. If in doubt, throw it out. We're glad for clean homes and glad for clean garments: nothing unbecoming for a child of God. All have the sister and brother workers as examples.

The Priests: If someone got leprosy and wanted to be cleansed, they needed the priest. Reading Leviticus 13-14 and other parts about leprosy, the priests are needed so much. They are mentioned 70 times concerning leprosy. Some people have turned away from the ministry, but this just shows me how important it is. They could not make an acceptable offering without the priest. In the New Testament, it says to esteem them very highly for the work's sake. Miriam and Naaman got cleansing, but Gehazi and Uziah didn't. When people are willing for God's order, there's cleansing for the leper.

Leviticus 14:2, "The priest shall go without the camp if the plague would be healed." Not ordinarily would a priest go out of the camp, but this speaks of the ministry going further than expected. They had to go outside and it was necessary to go outside with blood. We don't have to give people a line up of all that's happened, just that I was wrong and bring the sacrifice and offering. Then there's the Passover feast; we're only here because of the blood of the lamb.

Leprosy: the living death. How different that is to the dying life. People who give into pride, lust, jealousy are living a living death. But those who keep true are living a dying life. We've been hearing how the corn of wheat must fall into the ground and die to bring forth much fruit. Those that have been rebellious; pride has broken out and taken them away. They come back and tell of the misery they've gone through.

Many times people try to hide leprosy. They'll go to any extent to cover it, and then it's so much harder to deal with it. It has taken too greater hold. That's why I chose Hymn 24, "From every stain made clean." Our secret life really is not secret. Soon it will be evident if we hide it. It was the priest who decided when the leper was cleansed, not the leper.