“In the Fourteenth chapter of Leviticus, the process of the Bath of the Spirit is perfectly outlined for us in a beautiful spiritual allegory. The ceremonial law of permanent spiritual cleansing following the physical healing is as follows:
“’Then shall the priest command to take for him that is to be cleansed two birds alive and clean…and the priest shall command that one of the birds be killed…as for the living bird, he shall take it…and shall dip it in the blood of the bird that was killed; …and he shall sprinkle upon him that is to be cleansed of the leprosy seven times, and he shall pronounce him clean, and shall let the living bird loose into the open field…and he shall be clean.’
“Those two birds represent the spirit of these two baths we have been considering. They represent the two conceptions a sick person can take of himself. One bird represents, for instance, the sick condition in which he appears to the outside world; that picture must be destroyed, denied, and cast aside. The other bird represents the way he actually is in the sight of God, made after His image and likeness, a perfect being in a perfect world, governed by a perfect God.
“But while the first bird is denied and cast from the consciousness, the values that can be extracted from the illness must not be denied. These values are to be carefully treasured and pondered upon for seven days. The sprinkling of the blood of the slain bird upon the sick person “seven times” is a symbolical way of saying that after one has completely destroyed the view of himself as a sick man, and thrown it away, he should hold fast to the values that such an experience has brought him.
“This is the point where most spiritual healers fail. They try to cast aside the entire thought of the illness as nothing but evil, as something that should be forgotten and despised and gotten rid of a quickly as possible. They forget that if God does all things, He permits us to go through such experiences for a purpose, and we have not really met His will until we find that purpose and gratefully accept it.
“Was your illness sent to sprinkle patience into your consciousness, or love, or tolerance, or humility, or obedience? Was the illness to turn you to God? If it accomplished that you surely should be glad that you were allowed seven days for sprinkling a lot of gratitude for that blessing. Did you learn how to pray? Were some friends drawn to you closer than ever? Did the Bible and spiritual books take new meanings for you? Did the illness make you more humble, more loving, more wise? Did it open your eyes to deeper visions, to greater faith, to greater appreciation of the presence of God in your life?
“When you have found the good that has come to you from your illness, there will automatically be removed from your soul all resentment, worry, impatience, and pride, and you will be ready to move ahead, a cleansed and perfect soul. Then you will have learned the lesson your illness was sent to bring to you.
“The first bird represents the baptism of water, the baptism that washes away the bad. But in this case the water has been transformed into blood, and a sprinkling by blood transcends a baptism by water in that it not only cleanses but it atones, it not only washes away the bad but it also preserves all the value which the experience with the bad has brought.
“Having accepted the baptism by water and blood, now let us turn to the baptism by the Spirit and the Fire. There is a legend of a bird called the Phoenix Bird that constantly goes
up in flames and then rises again from its own ashes—a symbol of constant resurrection and constant rebirth. The second bird referred to in Leviticus typifies the healing qualities of the Phoenix Bird, the sound, reborn body emerging out of the experience which illness has wrought. This allegory has a vital message for us at this point, which is as follows: As much as we sincerely, yes, eagerly desire the complete health which this bird typifies, we must not press down too hard in our demands that it come to pass. We must vision it clearly and hopefully each day for seven days while using it to sprinkle over our consciousness a greater awareness and a deeper gratitude for the values the temporary illness has brought. Then after seven days of holding the Soul’s sincere desire to our heart, we must be so surrendered to the will of God that we shall be willing to relinquish it entirely into the Father’s
“After the seven days of prayer of gratitude are over, take your vision of a perfect body and “let go” even of that, yes, set it free in the open field” of God. In other words, be willing, even as Abraham was willing to sacrifice his son if God so commanded, to give up with radiant acquiescence your dream of physical wholeness. Offer it to Him, saying, “Father, now that I am sprinkled with the full values that this sickness can bring me, I am so grateful that I am willing to relinquish even my desire to get well if You have in mind some larger plan or some greater good than I can see. I shall turn over to You now this vision of the well person that I have been holding for a week, and for the rest of the time I want You to do all the visioning in Your perfect way.” When a thing is left entirely in God’s hands He has complete power to work the greatest miracles of healing.
“This relinquishment involves the whole-hearted acceptance of the Saving and Healing Christ. As we turn to Christ in penitence and humility and gratitude for the blood He shed for mankind, we are suddenly filled with a Life as boundless as the ocean, as powerful as Niagara, and as loving and tender and healing as the air we breathe. It was our sickness that he bore, our pains that he carried, he was pierced for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities…and through his stripes we are healed.”