We learn so much from obeying the biblical command to deleaven our homes, cars, offices and personal spaces (Exodus 13:6-10). Physical deleavening certainly helps us in looking at our own lives spiritually—searching out every corner, nook and cranny in order to truly remove any spiritual dirt, filth or sin.
This process harkens back to a wonderful example of restoration found in 2 Chronicles: “Hezekiah began to reign when he was five and twenty years old, and he reigned nine and twenty years in Jerusalem. And his mother’s name was Abijah, the daughter of Zechariah. And he did that which was right in the sight of the Lord, according to all that David his father had done. He in the first year of his reign, in the first month, opened the doors of the house of the Lord, and repaired them” (2 Chronicles 29:1-3).
The richly ornate and costly temple God had built by King Solomon in Jerusalem had fallen into disuse and disrepair. We witnessed the same tragedy in recent times: After Herbert W. Armstrong’s death, perversion of God’s truth began. The Church had become a church within a church—the synagogue of Satan (Revelation 3:9). God then used one man to begin restoring the truth and the faith once delivered to the saints (Jude 3).
Malachi’s Message was given to God’s Church. The opening sentence of the preface of that book reads, “This is a story about God’s Church gone off track, and what God did to correct the tragedy.”
The account in 2 Chronicles 29 continues, “And he brought in the priests and the Levites, and gathered them together into the east street, And said unto them, Hear me, ye Levites, sanctify now yourselves, and sanctify the house of the Lord God of your fathers, and carry forth the filthiness out of the holy place” (verses 4-5). They were to clean out the filthiness. Then King Hezekiah added, “be not now negligent: for the Lord hath chosen you to stand before him, to serve him, and that ye should minister unto him …” (verse 11).
Just as the Levites anciently began the task of cleansing, repairing and restoring, so our current commission to “raise up the ruins” must begin with a cleansing of the spiritual temple. The Philadelphia Church of God started small, but it has grown large and raised up the ruins of Mr. Armstrong’s work.
We individually continue to cleanse our lives by overcoming and conquering weaknesses. Verse 34 begins, “But the priests were too few.” Just like today—our ministers are too few. We must pray to the Lord of the harvest for help. Luke 10:2 tells us, “Therefore said he unto them, The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest.”
King Hezekiah wrote letters to those who had drifted from God. He asked them to turn again to God (2 Chronicles 30:6). But, like the Laodiceans today, not everyone was responsive (although ancient Israel did not have God’s Holy Spirit).
For those who responded, this was a great cleansing and it brought great joy. Read verses 13-27. Notice verse 21 in particular: “And the children of Israel that were present at Jerusalem kept the feast of unleavened bread seven days with great gladness: and the Levites and the priests praised the Lord day by day, singing with loud instruments unto the Lord.” Of the word singing, Moffat says, “sang praise to the Eternal day by day with all their might.” This all is happening during the feast of Unleavened Bread.
Look at verse 26 now: “So there was great joy in Jerusalem: for since the time of Solomon the son of David king of Israel there was not the like in Jerusalem.” When we get back to God’s ways, what is produced is “great joy.” Joy and rejoicing—the Israelites held the Feast with great delight. This must be our goal every day—to rejoice with great delight, especially during the Days of Unleavened Bread.
When the king commanded the people to get back to tithing, they responded beautifully. “And thus did Hezekiah throughout all Judah, and wrought that which was good and right and truth before the Lord his God. And in every work that he began in the service of the house of God, and in the law, and in the commandments, to seek his God, he did it with all his heart, and prospered” (2 Chronicles 31:20-21).
God truly will bless His Church as we seek to truly obey Him in every way and cleanse our personal temple—getting rid of any filth or uncleanness in every area.
1 Corinthians 7:18-20 explain, “Is any man called being circumcised? let him not become uncircumcised. Is any called in uncircumcision? let him not be circumcised. Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping of the commandments of God. Let every man abide in the same calling wherein he was called.” These Days of Unleavened Bread focus on “keeping the commandments of God” to truly flee sin.
We must ensure that we truly are up to our task of cleansing ourselves and responding to God—His government, His law and His love. We must be dedicated to the spiritual commission before us—prophesying again (Revelation 10:11). The last hour is closing in—time is of the essence to finish this Work, but also for each of us to be ready to marry the Son of God!
Seek the righteousness of our great God during these holy days. Ask for clear direction, as David did. Read Psalm 51 and apply it to yourself during these Days of Unleavened Bread.
Our spiritual temple must be cleansed, and our growth will truly bring joy and rejoicing that will go on throughout eternity!