The Ten Plagues on Egypt

By Edna Lister

The ten plagues God visited on Egypt marked the end of Israel’s more than four centuries of servitude there. Their sojourn in Egypt had begun with their deliverance from famine, but ended with them being in bondage, abused and persecuted by their Egyptian overseers, and forced to make mud bricks without straw.

So often in life some new vibration is delightfully welcome, but thins over time, finally becoming burdensome and unpleasant. Knowing when to leave is wise, but spiritual inertia results from having too easy a way of life. In that case a man is likely to overstay his welcome, remaining when he should leave.

Moses, whose name means “drawn out,” was saved from Pharaoh’s death decree for male Hebrew newborns by a princess of Egypt, who adopted him and raised him as a prince. Unaware of his true lineage, he slew a brutal Egyptian taskmaster; knowing that he could not keep his crime a secret, he fled to Midian. Many people today move to a new location in an attempt to escape or to hide their past.

God had other plans for Moses and spoke to him from the burning bush: “Behold, the cry of the children of Israel is come unto me: and I have also seen the oppression wherewith the Egyptians oppress them. Come now therefore, and I will send thee unto Pharaoh, that thou mayest bring forth my people the children of Israel out of Egypt. And Moses said unto God, Who am I, that I should go unto Pharaoh, and that I should bring forth the children of Israel out of Egypt? And he said, Certainly I will be with thee; and this shall be a token unto thee, that I have sent thee: When thou hast brought forth the people out of Egypt, ye shall serve God upon this mountain. And Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? what shall I say unto them? And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.” – Exodus 3:9-14

Although Moses was reluctant, he did God’s will by returning to Egypt to free the tribes of Israel from their enslavement. Thus begins the story of the ten plagues on Egypt.

The Ten Plagues on Egypt

Every Bible verse has a psychological, metaphysical, scientific, philosophical, and mystical interpretation. Each letter has twenty-two different meanings and significations. Reading the Bible as a history of humanity is only a first step. The Bible’s Author has filled it with allegories and parables. Taken as a whole, the Bible serves as a metaphor for the experiences of all living souls.

Every ancient civilization has left remnants of its culture in the high places where they worshiped. Yet even with these tantalizing hints of history, no single document tells the whole story. For example, where did Cain get his wife? Adam knew, as did Abraham, that they were not alone on earth, other peoples existed. As descended creator gods, they sent their sons, Cain and Isaac, to find wives in Nod, the land of the children of men.

The tribes, led by the sons of Israel, traveled to live in Egypt in a time of terrible famine because one son, Joseph, whom his jealous brothers had sold into slavery, had become the grand vizier there. Four hundred years passed and the reigning Pharaoh no longer remembered Joseph or the origin of the Israelites. He began using them as slaves because they were numerous and not of Egyptian heritage.

Moses, who became the leader of the tribes, served as God’s mouthpiece, which is always a soul who has made high vows and strives to keep them. His older brother Aaron, who was the first high priest of Israel, symbolizes intellect. Symbolically, Pharaoh was the ruler of all lower urges and represents the powers of selfish darkness holding both the Egyptians and Israelites in bondage.

Egypt symbolizes the appetitive soul enmeshed in matter, materialism, hedonism, sensation, and the satisfaction of all physical appetites. At this level of consciousness, soul as yet has no burning desire to grow in wisdom or to ascend. Israel symbolizes the appetitive soul in conflict with rational soul as to which of them shall rule the life. Creature consciousness is happy in Egypt, but rational soul yearns and longs for a return to its original high place. When this story begins, Israel is still “stuck” in Egypt with the earthy, materialistic Egyptian creature consciousness.

The plagues, as described in Exodus, tell the story of the soul’s travail and unfolding glory as it passes once around the Zodiacal Wheel in twelve incarnations, one per sign. To understand the stories in the Old Testament, you must know about human geography. The Land of Egypt, metaphorically represents the organs, nerves, systems and processes, below the diaphragm in the human body. The first three Zodiacal signs — Aries, Taurus, and Gemini — form the Land of Egypt.

The Promised Land symbolizes the organs, nerves, systems and physical processes between the diaphragm and the shoulder blades. The second three signs of the Zodiac — Cancer, Leo and Virgo — form the Promised Land. The Garden of Eden includes the head, and the organs, nerves, systems and physical processes from the collar bones to the crown. The final six signs of the Zodiac — Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius and Pisces —form the Garden of Eden.

The children of Israel carried a memory of everything they had learned on earth from their descent in the beginning, and they had taints of every kind due to their heterogeneous background. Egypt was a familiar home to them. They had consorted with the Egyptians for generations, had lost their own religious rituals, worshiped idols and pagan gods, and eaten ritually unclean food. As a result, they were enmeshed in three different phases of enslavement in their desires, thinking and imagination — they had accumulated many stubborn, hard to control soul taints, and become sin-prone.

When you first see God’s Light with spiritual eyes, people and situations in the world may look much worse to you. You find that the old laws you’ve always depended on no longer work as you expect them to, which is upsetting. Eventually, you realize that you are making bricks without straw. Finally, you stop looking at the world and start to look to the Source of divine Mind, Substance and Power for the answers.

Moses told them they had to leave Egypt and travel by foot to worship and serve the One God in the wilderness, which represents self begining to come to terms with soul and leaving a familiar environment. {We see this today with souls who must leave old companions behind as they conquer their physical addiction to the senses, such as food, drugs, alcohol, etc.} Many among them probably doubted, wondering why they had to leave Egypt, and of those, many must have entered the wilderness in rebellion against Moses, going only because others did. How they must have complained! It took Moses forty days to get the tribes out of Egypt, but it took wandering forty years in the wilderness to get Egypt out of Israel. The elders of the tribes, who had lived under Egyptian rule, were all dead by the time the Israelites reached Canaan, the Promised Land. They represent the entrenched darkness of self.

God sent the plagues to teach both the Egyptians and the Israelites. Through a careful analysis, you can discover what laws Egypt disobeyed to cause the plagues. Israel had to experience witnessing the plagues to recognize and understand who God is and what law means. The plagues showed Egypt and Israel that God is God, the Supreme Ruler of the universe. Pharaoh represents the self, which resists. The Lord deliberately hardened Pharaoh’s heart before each plague, then multiplied His signs and wonders.

He wanted to make sure that Egypt would know He was the one God, and the Israelites would go with Moses. They had to understand the need for and to accept soul discipline. The tribes would have turned back, had they anything to return to, so God showed them how He could care for them.

The Plagues Within the Divine Scale of Twelve

Tribe House Plague Lesson
Gad Aries Water into Blood Always look to God before choosing
Asher Taurus Frogs To be free, accept and obey law
Issachar Gemini Lice To conquer is better than to control
Zebulon Cancer Flies Conquer stubborn disobedience
Joseph Leo Flies Conquer stubborn disobedience
Benjamin Virgo Flies Conquer stubborn disobedience
Reuben Libra Murrain on Cattle Purity of purpose and action
Simeon Scorpio Boils Cleanse the soul of selfish pride
Levi Sagittarius Hail Awaken love and compassion
Judah Capricorn Locusts Cleanse remaining doubts and fears
Dan Aquarius Darkness Choose soul’s vision or self’s blindness
Naphtali Pisces Death The final transmutation of self into soul

The Miraculous Prologue

“And the Lord said unto Moses, See, I have made thee a god to Pharaoh: and Aaron thy brother shall be thy prophet. Thou shalt speak all that I command thee: and Aaron thy brother shall speak unto Pharaoh, that he send the children of Israel out of his land. And I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and multiply my signs and my wonders in the land of Egypt. But Pharaoh shall not hearken unto you, that I may lay my hand upon Egypt, and bring forth mine armies, and my people the children of Israel, out of the land of Egypt by great judgments. And the Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord, when I stretch forth mine hand upon Egypt, and bring out the children of Israel from among them. And Moses and Aaron did as the Lord commanded them, so did they. And Moses was fourscore years old, and Aaron fourscore and three years old, when they spake unto Pharaoh. And the Lord spake unto Moses and unto Aaron, saying, When Pharaoh shall speak unto you, saying, Shew a miracle for you: then thou shalt say unto Aaron, Take thy rod, and cast it before Pharaoh, and it shall become a serpent. And Moses and Aaron went in unto Pharaoh, and they did so as the Lord had commanded: and Aaron cast down his rod before Pharaoh, and before his servants, and it became a serpent. Then Pharaoh also called the wise men and the sorcerers: now the magicians of Egypt, they also did in like manner with their enchantments. For they cast down every man his rod, and they became serpents: but Aaron’s rod swallowed up their rods. And He hardened Pharaoh’s heart, that he hearkened not unto them; as the Lord had said.” – Exodus 7:1-13.

Before God smote Egypt with the plagues, He ordered Moses to have Aaron challenge the priests of Egypt by casting down his almond wood rod, which became a serpent. The Egyptian sorcerers and magicians did the same with their enchantments, but God caused Aaron’s rod to swallow their serpents. The serpent is an ancient symbol of wisdom, and the raised cobra of the Egyptians represents the individual’s high soul expression, lifted. God performed this wonder to demonstrate how His Wisdom would absorb the lesser wisdom of other religions.

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“And the Lord said to Moses, Pharaoh’s heart is hardened, he refuses to let the people go. Go to Pharaoh in the morning, when he goes out to the water, and you shall stand by the river’s bank to meet him; and the rod which was turned to a serpent you shall take in your hand. And you shall say to him, The Lord God of the Hebrews has sent me to you, saying, Let My people go, that they may serve Me in the wilderness: but indeed, until now you would not hear. Thus says the Lord, By this you shall know that I am the Lord. Behold, I will strike the waters which are in the river with the rod that is in my hand, and they shall be turned to blood. And the fish that are in the river shall die, the river shall stink, and the Egyptians will loathe to drink the water of the river. Then the Lord spoke to Moses, Say to Aaron, Take your rod, and stretch out your hand over the waters of Egypt, over their streams, over their rivers, over their ponds, and over all their pools of water, that they may become blood. And there may be blood throughout all the land of Egypt, both in buckets of wood, and in pitchers of stone. And Moses and Aaron did so, as the Lord commanded; and he lifted up the rod, and smote the waters that were in the river, in the sight of Pharaoh, and in the sight of his servants; and all the waters that were in the river were turned to blood. And the fish that was in the river died; and the river stank, and the Egyptians could not drink of the water of the river; and there was blood throughout all the land of Egypt. And the magicians of Egypt did so with their enchantments: and Pharaoh’s heart was hardened, neither did he hearken unto them; as the Lord had said. And Pharaoh turned and went into his house, neither did he set his heart to this also. And all the Egyptians digged round about the river for water to drink; for they could not drink of the water of the river. And seven days were fulfilled, after that the Lord had smitten the river.” – Exodus 7:14-25.

Blood represents regeneration and the vital fire element of life. Blood is the soul’s vehicle or sheath, which is why scripture insists that the life is in the blood. “For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul.” – Leviticus 17:11.

The first plague transformed the water of the Nile, Egypt’s streams and its pools into blood, which represents degeneration, the soul’s regression from health, as in hemophilia, anemia, leukemia, or other blood-related conditions and ailments. Physically, blood platelets (thrombocytes) are produced in the bone marrow and are involved in clotting and wound repair. The body stores its reserved and aging platelets in the spleen. Under stress, the spleen will contract and recirculate the platelets to boost the blood pressure, the source of the idea of venting one’s spleen in anger.

Metaphysically, as evidenced in the interaction of the cellular physical and molecular desire body, the physical blood platelets represent three expressions of the living soul. Symbolically, they represent the Oversoul unity, rational soul-three as one, and appetitive soul four elements. The form of each platelet is primarily composed of soul substance as a substrate on which to record your every thought, emotion and desire. Thus, the platelets can profoundly affect your emotions, thoughts and desires. Pure blood platelets ensure health; impure platelets can cause illness and disease. At death, you transform your platelets and take their records with you. Thus, the blood reflects a “picture” of the embodied soul, and records his progress or lack thereof. {Your thoughts, emotions and desires do chemically etch a memory of every experience on the blood platelets. Search on the term, "epigenetics," but beware of believing an opinion is the truth.}

The first three houses in the first Wheel of Ezekiel — Aries, Taurus and Gemini — represent what we call the Land of Egypt in man, the abdominal cavity. The second triad of houses — Cancer, Leo and Virgo — represents the Promised Land, the thoracic cavity, from the diaphragm to the collar bones. The wheel’s upper hemisphere — Libra through Pisces — represents the Garden of Eden, or Heaven. You endure through Egypt, which represents the sensory world, to reach the Promised Land of refined or divine love, and from there to reach the soul’s home with God.

The first plague took place in Aries, the house of the hidden manna and the Holy Spirit. The Degree is the Neophyte, whose vow is to make the body a fit dwelling for the soul.

The Egyptians had forgotten the mysteries of the soul’s immortality, which Isis and Osiris had taught them. They had allowed their religion to degenerate into a cult of death, focused on embalming and the grave. The tribes had lived in Egypt’s settled bounty for so long that they had forgotten their former monotheistic religion and nomadic way of life. Many Israelites had forgotten the one God of their forefathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

Both Israel and Egypt were worshiping false gods. False gods include those ideas about life that cultures and religions throughout history have enshrined as truth, but which are really no more than customs, opinions and prejudices. Misuse of the creative fire caused the first plague. To degrade the purity of the creative fire constricts the flow of the Holy Spirit’s enlivening power to the sacrum center at the base of the spine. Most occasions for misuse of your soul substance occur when you indulge excessive physical appetites or use idle words.

The first plague transformed water into blood, which is a symbol of regeneration. Transforming blood into water represents degeneration and soul regression. The blood carries the vitality of the soul, which is supposed to constantly regenerate the body. The health of the blood creates a picture of the soul and its progress. Factors in the blood record the soul’s desires, thinking and emotions. The pattern of this record regulates these soul faculties, for good if the soul’s record is good, but for ill otherwise, as a degeneration from health resulting in anemia, leukemia, hemophilia, and other blood ailments.

You can adjust to the actions of those who are misusing principle by lifting them and picturing them on a cloud continent to let Light restrain and cleanse them. As the waters of the River of Life flow through them, call them by name and declare them good, cleansed and purified. Your love is strong enough to overcome hate when you agree with God that all people, situations and things are good, even the Mind, Substance and Power that men misuse as hate.

Both Egypt and Israel had cut off the etheric currents and the Holy Spirit. They worshiped idols, had fallen from their high place in consciousness and shut the crown center, which the ancients called the soul’s “first love.” The plague’s purpose was to teach Egypt and Israel to look up to God, and to listen to the voice of Spirit. To become clean, they had to pay attention to their Neophyte vows and physical regeneration. Egypt had to let the Holy Spirit transform and return them to their original belief in the soul’s immortality. Israel had to accept the law as given through Moses, become one again with the God of their forefathers, and leave the fleshpots of Egypt. Israel must surrender, accept, return to God fully, and ascend to God consciousness.

The Egyptian magicians could also convert water to blood, so Pharaoh again hardened his heart in selfish resistance. His priests could not, however, reconvert the blood into water, so the Egyptian people were forced to dig for clean water for seven days.

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The Second Plague, Frogs

“And the Lord spoke to Moses, Go to Pharaoh, and say to him, Thus says the Lord, Let my people go, that they may serve Me. But if you refuse to let them go, behold, I will smite all your territory with frogs. So the river shall bring forth frogs abundantly, which shall go up and come into your house, into your bedroom, on your bed, into the houses of your servants, on your people, into your ovens, and into your kneading bowls. And the frogs shall come up on you, on your people, and on all your servants. Then the Lord spoke to Moses, Say to Aaron, Stretch out your hand with your rod over the streams, over the rivers, and over the ponds, and cause frogs to come up on the land of Egypt. And Aaron stretched out his hand over the waters of Egypt, and the frogs came up, and covered the land of Egypt. And the magicians did so with their enchantments, and brought up frogs on the land of Egypt. Then Pharaoh called for Moses and Aaron, and said, Intreat the Lord, that he may take away the frogs from me, and from my people; and I will let the people go, that they may do sacrifice unto the Lord. And Moses said unto Pharaoh, Glory over me: when shall I intreat for thee, and for thy servants, and for thy people, to destroy the frogs from thee and thy houses, that they may remain in the river only? And he said, Tomorrow. And he said, Be it according to thy word: that thou mayest know that there is none like unto the Lord our God. And the frogs shall depart from thee, and from thy houses, and from thy servants, and from thy people; they shall remain in the river only. And Moses and Aaron went out from Pharaoh: and Moses cried unto the Lord because of the frogs which he had brought against Pharaoh. And the Lord did according to the word of Moses; and the frogs died out of the houses, out of the villages, and out of the fields. And they gathered them together upon heaps: and the land stank. But when Pharaoh saw that there was respite, he hardened his heart, and hearkened not unto them; as the Lord had said.” – Exodus 8:1-15.

Frogs belong to the water element. Symbolically they represent the emotional life and “human nature.” You manifest emotional abnormalities as dropsy, diabetes, swelling, edema and glandular problems. The frogs symbolize confusion in critical thinking and confused under-the-surface thinking that needs to be lifted. This entire initiation is about perfected personal expression.

Frogs from the Nile infested the Egyptians’ homes, bedrooms, beds, ovens and kneading bowls. The mystical interpretation of the bedroom and bed describes the physical misuse of the creative fire, which influenced the whole Egyptian culture. The people used kneading bowls and ovens to make bread, which represents the process of assimilation. Bread symbolizes spiritual substance, which Egypt misused physically and emotionally. Overeating causes bloating — a swelling, which is in the frog’s nature — at the stomach center — the navel center or epigastric plexus — and results in little or no proper assimilation or body perfection.

The second plague takes place in Taurus, the house of fertility for Israel. To Egypt it represented the Nile inundation that renewed and fertilized their fields. The Disciple Degree is under Taurus, and the vow is to surrender to become the servant of all Power. When you enslave the creative fire to the outer senses, it cannot “water” the vital centers, and you become infertile physically and mentally.

The Lord compelled Egypt to awaken in consciousness and free the creative fire to become the flame of God. He advised Israel to live as His children, to accept and surrender to the one God, to return to their Father’s house.

Taurus rules the neck. Swelling in the neck is inherent in a frog’s nature. Pharaoh swelled with pride and stubbornness, so even this plague did not convince Egypt. The Egyptian magicians also could conjure frogs, though they were unable to dismiss them. Pharaoh begged Moses to ask God to remove the plague. When God caused the frogs to die, Pharaoh again hardened his heart.

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The Third Plague, Lice

“So the Lord said to Moses, Say to Aaron, Stretch out your rod, and strike the dust of the land, so that it may become lice throughout the land of Egypt. And they did so. For Aaron stretched out his hand with his rod, and struck the dust of the earth, and it became lice on man and beast. All the dust of the land became lice throughout all the land of Egypt. Now the magicians did so with their enchantments to bring forth lice, but they could not. So there were lice on man and beast. Then the magicians said to Pharaoh, This is the finger of God. But Pharaoh’s heart grew hard, and he did not heed them, just as the Lord had said.” – Exodus 8:16-19.

In the third plague, the dust of the land became lice and afflicted man and beast. It represents stability and the earth element, the heavy, rich and fertile soil of Egypt. The lice symbolize hidden, creeping taints, the uncovering of self, and all lesser negative thoughts that upset emotions and bring fear and doubt. The lice upset stagnant emotions. Stability is not stagnation, but looking up, not up and down, not blowing hot then cold.

The lice plague is under Gemini the Adept, who vows to be selfless in releasing Power, not using Power. Gemini is the sign of the Twins, positive and negative, hot and cold. It is the house of faith for Israel, but the house of control for Egypt, the Adept in the Land of Egypt. Here, self still holds soul in bondage in the Land of Egypt. It takes burning desire in the heart to repent to enter the Promised Land. Lice made Israel desire to ascend from the Adept Degree in Egypt. This plague showed Egypt the limits of control as an Adept, and awakened the unconquerable faith of Israel, governed by stability without wavering.

The Egyptian magicians could imitate the first two plagues but they could not duplicate this one. In the Gemara, a commentary on Hebrew Law in the Talmud, a passage states that the Egyptians, as magicians, could not produce lice because they were unable to imitate anything smaller than a barley corn. Moses and Aaron began at the bottom with the miracle of small lice and ascended in the Power God gave them. They were, of course, letting God use them for His honor and glory. Conversely, the Egyptian magicians used the lowest form of adept manipulation. They could not initiate a miracle, but could only use illusion to imitate what they saw.

Adepts on earth imitate the reflections of what true initiates do in the heavenly realms above the Gates of Light. A reflection does nothing but to reflect; however, a miracle is an act of creation. Even the Egyptian magicians said, “This is the finger of God,” yet self again hardened Pharaoh’s heart.

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The Fourth Plague, Swarms of Flies

“And the Lord said unto Moses, Rise up early in the morning, and stand before Pharaoh; lo, he cometh forth to the water; and say unto him, Thus saith the Lord, Let my people go, that they may serve me. Else, if thou wilt not let my people go, behold, I will send swarms of flies upon thee, and upon thy servants, and upon thy people, and into thy houses: and the houses of the Egyptians shall be full of swarms of flies, and also the ground whereon they are. And I will sever in that day the land of Goshen, in which my people dwell, that no swarms of flies shall be there; to the end thou mayest know that I am the Lord in the midst of the earth. And I will put a division between my people and thy people: to morrow shall this sign be. And the Lord did so; and there came a grievous swarm of flies into the house of Pharaoh, and into his servants’ houses, and into all the land of Egypt: the land was corrupted by reason of the swarm of flies. And Pharaoh called for Moses and for Aaron, and said, Go ye, sacrifice to your God in the land. And Moses said, It is not meet so to do; for we shall sacrifice the abomination of the Egyptians to the Lord our God: lo, shall we sacrifice the abomination of the Egyptians before their eyes, and will they not stone us? We will go three days’ journey into the wilderness, and sacrifice to the Lord our God, as he shall command us. And Pharaoh said, I will let you go, that ye may sacrifice to the Lord your God in the wilderness; only ye shall not go very far away: intreat for me. And Moses said, Behold, I go out from thee, and I will intreat the Lord that the swarms of flies may depart from Pharaoh, from his servants, and from his people, to morrow: but let not Pharaoh deal deceitfully any more in not letting the people go to sacrifice to the Lord. And Moses went out from Pharaoh, and intreated the Lord. And the Lord did according to the word of Moses; and he removed the swarms of flies from Pharaoh, from his servants, and from his people; there remained not one. And Pharaoh hardened his heart at this time also, neither would he let the people go.” – Exodus 8:20-32.

The fourth plague was a swarm of flies. Winged insects represent the air element, and they symbolize doubts and thoughts of fear. Wrong thinking created the plague of flies, not emotions. The fourth plague covers three divisions — Cancer, Leo and Virgo in the Wheel of Ezekiel — signs which represent the stomach, heart and lungs, respectively. Israel had ascended to the Promised Land of the heart center, to live by the Oversoul’s universal I AM consciousness.

Cancer is the house of choice, the fourth house of your foundation in life, and it rules the stomach. Leo is the house of honor, the fifth house of freedom to release the past, and it rules the heart. Virgo is the house of the bread of life, and represents the lungs and the inspiration faculty. You must synchronize the function of heart and lungs to have perfect balance in the stomach. You have heard people say, “I have butterflies in my stomach.” Butterflies have wings. The previous plague of lice had upset everyone’s stagnant emotions, but the swarms of flies caused even Pharaoh to have second thoughts. The stench of the maggots must have been utterly disgusting.

The Mystic Degree includes the Cancer, Leo and Virgo divisions. The vow is to maintain a shining golden silence, remain receptive to God’s voice, and undisturbed by idle vagrant thoughts. The Spirit promises the morning star to the Israelite who overcomes. The morning star represents the Oversoul Star, which shines as wisdom and love, balanced as compassion. A strong star of destiny governs you when the Oversoul descends to rule the embodied soul.

Israel was to learn to choose to be obedient. Egypt had continued in false doctrine and misuse and thus received what their works had earned. This plague was to teach both Egypt and Pharaoh to overcome stubbornness in the heart.

God ordered Moses to tell Aaron to stretch his rod to commence the first three plagues. This time God ordered Moses simply to announce the time and the nature of the plague to Pharaoh. Aaron’s rod represents the finger of God. The finger of God points in the right direction, indicating the path you are to take. Wait upon the Lord, and God will point the way. You express your emotions with your hands. While you can control the muscles and thereby the expression on your face, you gain control of your hands last — so, watch a person’s hands when he talks.

Israel dwelt in the district of Goshen. God protected that land from the swarms of flies, so they did not afflict Israel. Pharaoh said he would let the people go for three days if only the swarms of flies would end. When the plague ended, self again hardened his heart.

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The Fifth Plague, Pestilence on Cattle

“Then the Lord said unto Moses, Go in unto Pharaoh, and tell him, Thus saith the Lord God of the Hebrews, Let my people go, that they may serve me. For if thou refuse to let them go, and wilt hold them still, Behold, the hand of the Lord is upon thy cattle which is in the field, upon the horses, upon the asses, upon the camels, upon the oxen, and upon the sheep: there shall be a very grievous murrain. And the Lord shall sever between the cattle of Israel and the cattle of Egypt: and there shall nothing die of all that is the children’s of Israel. And the Lord appointed a set time, saying, Tomorrow the Lord shall do this thing in the land. And the Lord did that thing on the morrow, and all the cattle of Egypt died: but of the cattle of the children of Israel died not one. And Pharaoh sent, and, behold, there was not one of the cattle of the Israelites dead. And the heart of Pharaoh was hardened, and he did not let the people go.” – Exodus 9:1-7.

This pestilence, which some scholars have theorized was probably anthrax, represents the lower animal nature and all overindulgence of self. For instance, since this plague is related to the throat center, you manifest irritation and impatience in idle words. When you overindulge in idle words with your family, friends and the world, you cause the law of force to react on you. This plague’s lesson is on the eighteenth Yetzirah Path of Life, which signifies the balance of inner and outer. It is also the bloodstained path of spiritual blindness that results in death in the material world.

After the third plague, Israel had ascended to a state of grace. Egypt still lived in an unregenerate state, and wanted slaves to do their bidding. The eighteenth Yetzirah Path, in its lowest expression, explodes the atoms, releases life sparks and destroys form. Israel, whose livestock were unharmed, was living by the higher mental and soul faculties. Cattle represent increase and freedom. The plague killed all the Egyptian livestock, but God protected Israel’s livestock with a wall of Light. The death of their livestock, which was their wealth, represents Egypt living on the lower pole of expression.

The fifth plague opens the upper hemisphere of the Wheel of Ezekiel, under Libra, the House of Law. The law is the Word of the Lord, spoken by the Logos, the Word. The words, “Lord” and “law,” are nearly synonymous. As you enter the Garden of Eden, you learn the first true soul freedom, which comes through spiritual illumination. The Master vows to be responsible for all about him.

Israel was learning to return to the Logos, the Word of the One God, the law, to be watchful, and to strengthen their faith. To be watchful advises Israel to be ready to move instantly. God was teaching Egypt to learn obedience to divine law, while he taught Israel the powerful effects of disobedience — the plague destroyed all Egypt’s livestock. Disobedience can destroy the value of the food you eat. When food upsets the digestion, look for disobedience to law. Strengthen what is ready to die of malnutrition caused by idle words. Worthy ones walk in white raiment when they attain purity of speech. Egypt was learning purity of purpose instead of treachery.

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The Sixth Plague, Boils

“And the Lord said unto Moses and unto Aaron, Take to you handfuls of ashes of the furnace, and let Moses sprinkle it toward the heaven in the sight of Pharaoh. And it shall become small dust in all the land of Egypt, and shall be a boil breaking forth with blains upon man, and upon beast, throughout all the land of Egypt. And they took ashes of the furnace, and stood before Pharaoh; and Moses sprinkled it up toward heaven; and it became a boil breaking forth with blains upon man, and upon beast. And the magicians could not stand before Moses because of the boils; for the boil was upon the magicians, and upon all the Egyptians. And the Lord hardened the heart of Pharaoh, and he hearkened not unto them; as the Lord had spoken unto Moses.” – Exodus 9:8-11.

God ordered Moses and Aaron to throw ashes into the air in Pharaoh’s sight. The falling ashes caused a plague of boils on man and beast. Ashes represent dross, burned from the lower or “human nature.” Ashes also symbolize your dregs, your last regrets and sorrow about giving up pride and self. Lift your ashes of self in surrender, and let them blow away as smoke, to have no more frustrations or sorrow. The Egyptian magicians could not stand before Moses because of the boils. Boils represent hidden emotional frustrations that cause impurities in the bloodstream. The action of boils cleanses the blood and the emotions. Boils represent a physical, bodily revolution, the casting out of wastes, and this affliction was intended to “boil” out impurities.

The Degree (the Master), and the vital center (the throat) remains the same as under Libra. Yet this plague is under the sign of Scorpio, the sign of death, the division of transformation. The initiate seeking mastery under Libra tends to “notice” the other fellow’s lack of responsibility. When practicing mastery under Scorpio, you begin to understand that in being responsible for what comes to you in life, you assume more responsibility, thus growing in mastery. Scorpio is also called the house of the altar of resurrection in the constellation Ara. Israel was to build their altar and remember that the Lord is one God. Egypt was to cleanse itself of corruption, which leads to death, and Pharaoh had to burn away his stubborn pride.

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Seventh Plague, Hail

“And the Lord said unto Moses, Rise up early in the morning, and stand before Pharaoh, and say unto him, Thus saith the Lord God of the Hebrews, Let my people go, that they may serve me. For I will at this time send all my plagues upon thine heart, and upon thy servants, and upon thy people; that thou mayest know that there is none like me in all the earth. For now I will stretch out my hand, that I may smite thee and thy people with pestilence; and thou shalt be cut off from the earth. And in very deed for this cause have I raised thee up, for to shew in thee my power; and that my name may be declared throughout all the earth. As yet exaltest thou thyself against my people, that thou wilt not let them go? Behold, to morrow about this time I will cause it to rain a very grievous hail, such as hath not been in Egypt since the foundation thereof even until now. Send therefore now, and gather thy cattle, and all that thou hast in the field; for upon every man and beast which shall be found in the field, and shall not be brought home, the hail shall come down upon them, and they shall die. He that feared the word of the Lord among the servants of Pharaoh made his servants and his cattle flee into the houses: And he that regarded not the word of the Lord left his servants and his cattle in the field. And the Lord said unto Moses, Stretch forth thine hand toward heaven, that there may be hail in all the land of Egypt, upon man, and upon beast, and upon every herb of the field, throughout the land of Egypt. And Moses stretched forth his rod toward heaven: and the Lord sent thunder and hail, and the fire ran along upon the ground; and the Lord rained hail upon the land of Egypt. So there was hail, and fire mingled with the hail, very grievous, such as there was none like it in all the land of Egypt since it became a nation. And the hail smote throughout all the land of Egypt all that was in the field, both man and beast; and the hail smote every herb of the field, and brake every tree of the field. Only in the land of Goshen, where the children of Israel were, was there no hail. And Pharaoh sent, and called for Moses and Aaron, and said unto them, I have sinned this time: the Lord is righteous, and I and my people are wicked. Entreat the Lord (for it is enough) that there be no more mighty thunderings and hail; and I will let you go, and ye shall stay no longer. And Moses said unto him, As soon as I am gone out of the city, I will spread abroad my hands unto the Lord; and the thunder shall cease, neither shall there be any more hail; that thou mayest know how that the earth is the Lord’s. But as for thee and thy servants, I know that ye will not yet fear the Lord God. And the flax and the barley was smitten: for the barley was in the ear, and the flax was bolled. But the wheat and the rye were not smitten: for they were not grown up. And Moses went out of the city from Pharaoh, and spread abroad his hands unto the Lord: and the thunders and hail ceased, and the rain was not poured upon the earth. And when Pharaoh saw that the rain and the hail and the thunders were ceased, he sinned yet more, and hardened his heart, he and his servants. And the heart of Pharaoh was hardened, neither would he let the children of Israel go; as the Lord had spoken by Moses.” – Exodus 9:13-35.

The plagues were ten miracles that God performed through Moses. In Exodus 9:23-35, God ordered Moses to stretch his rod toward heaven and He sent thunder, hail and fire to run along the ground [lightning does, in fact, sometimes run along the ground]. Thunder, hail and fire represent crystallized imagination, emotions and thinking, in that order. Hail is frozen water and symbolizes emotion crystallized into prejudices and opinions that produce paralysis. Thinking is fire that burns and churns crystallized emotions. The low pole of crystallized imagination creates thundering, destructive pictures.

The plague of hail is under Sagittarius, the house of ascension and conquering to ascend. Sagittarius is a fire sign. You must heat, melt, dissolve, and absorb all crystallization in both body and soul. For Egypt and Israel this represents the need to awaken love and compassion. The hail told Israel to dissolve its hatred of Egypt. No matter what sign you were born in, you conquer in Sagittarius.

Only in Israel’s land of Goshen was there no hail. Goshen means “place of rest.” Here the temptation is to rest on promises instead of ascending. Pharaoh represents the subconscious mind, which promises repeatedly to let go. Pharaoh began to fear the God of Israel. Here the mortal, subconscious mind begins to recognize its errors — Pharaoh began to promise to let Israel go.

Hail is related to the Priest Degree and the brow center. The Priest gathers all good from his past experience, then forges ahead. The brow center rules spiritual seeing. Knowing what destruction the previous plagues caused, Pharaoh still refused to learn from the experience and recognize and accept what he must do.

The hail and fire ruined the flax and barley crops that were ready for harvest. Destruction of the flax and barley represents Egypt reaping the whirlwind of self. Wheat and rye represent Israel’s spiritual “crops” grown in accord with law and divine will. The wheat and rye were immature and were not ruined. The lesson for Egypt was to fear the one God of Israel, the only way to make them let go. Yet Israel, with its immature crops, was not prepared to leave.

The Priest vows to remain pure in heart, mind and purpose. The initiation is to stand fast in the hour of temptation. God was teaching Egypt to let go of self. He was telling Israel to stand, know and love.

Love is the only ingredient that makes you strong enough to hold onto your victor’s crown. You combine the seventh plague with the sixth church, or seven plus six equals thirteen, the number symbolizing the Via Christa.

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The Eighth Plague, Locusts

“And the Lord said unto Moses, Go in unto Pharaoh: for I have hardened his heart, and the heart of his servants, that I might shew these my signs before him: And that thou mayest tell in the ears of thy son, and of thy son’s son, what things I have wrought in Egypt, and my signs which I have done among them; that ye may know how that I am the Lord. And Moses and Aaron came in unto Pharaoh, and said unto him, Thus saith the Lord God of the Hebrews, How long wilt thou refuse to humble thyself before me? let my people go, that they may serve me. Else, if thou refuse to let my people go, behold, tomorrow will I bring the locusts into thy coast: And they shall cover the face of the earth, that one cannot be able to see the earth: and they shall eat the residue of that which is escaped, which remaineth unto you from the hail, and shall eat every tree which groweth for you out of the field: And they shall fill thy houses, and the houses of all thy servants, and the houses of all the Egyptians; which neither thy fathers, nor thy fathers’ fathers have seen, since the day that they were upon the earth unto this day. And he turned himself, and went out from Pharaoh. And Pharaoh’s servants said unto him, How long shall this man be a snare unto us? let the men go, that they may serve the Lord their God: knowest thou not yet that Egypt is destroyed? And Moses and Aaron were brought again unto Pharaoh: and he said unto them, Go, serve the Lord your God: but who are they that shall go? And Moses said, We will go with our young and with our old, with our sons and with our daughters, with our flocks and with our herds will we go; for we must hold a feast unto the Lord. And he said unto them, Let the Lord be so with you, as I will let you go, and your little ones: look to it; for evil is before you. Not so: go now ye that are men, and serve the Lord; for that ye did desire. And they were driven out from Pharaoh’s presence. And the Lord said unto Moses, Stretch out thine hand over the land of Egypt for the locusts, that they may come up upon the land of Egypt, and eat every herb of the land, even all that the hail hath left. And Moses stretched forth his rod over the land of Egypt, and the Lord brought an east wind upon the land all that day, and all that night; and when it was morning, the east wind brought the locusts. And the locust went up over all the land of Egypt, and rested in all the coasts of Egypt: very grievous were they; before them there were no such locusts as they, neither after them shall be such. For they covered the face of the whole earth, so that the land was darkened; and they did eat every herb of the land, and all the fruit of the trees which the hail had left: and there remained not any green thing in the trees, or in the herbs of the field, through all the land of Egypt. Then Pharaoh called for Moses and Aaron in haste; and he said, I have sinned against the Lord your God, and against you. Now therefore forgive, I pray thee, my sin only this once, and intreat the Lord your God, that he may take away from me this death only. And he went out from Pharaoh, and intreated the Lord. And the Lord turned a mighty strong west wind, which took away the locusts, and cast them into the Red sea; there remained not one locust in all the coasts of Egypt. But the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart, so that he would not let the children of Israel go.” – Exodus 10:1-15.

The plague of locusts was pure destruction to Egypt. God warned Pharaoh in advance that the locusts would eat everything left after the plague of hail. Winged locusts represent the servants of the Almighty who think high thoughts and surrender the lower mind in order to ascend. First, hail must burn away opinions and prejudice, then you release all remaining doubts and fears. God sent locusts to cleanse Egypt, the subconscious mind, of doubts and fears.

Pharaoh wanted to hang onto self’s dominion and “try” to win. Thus, he brought the final two plagues on himself. Locusts represent the subconscious mind’s clinging, tenacious hold over the soul. They represent earth, although they have wings. The locusts ate everything until the earth was barren and dry as a bone. Pharaoh drove Moses and Aaron from his presence. Israel entered a period of purification under this plague. They were preparing for their sojourn in the wilderness.

The plague of locusts relates to Capricorn, the house of the father and an earth sign. It is the Gate of the soul’s descent though the house of the father to reach the house of the mother of earth in Cancer. An east wind brought the locusts and a west wind took them away. East represents resurrection, and west represents ascension. Capricorn signifies Israel’s victory through resurrection and ascension. Egypt, on the other hand, tried to gain victory through force.

The appetitive soul’s pilgrimage ascends from Egypt through the Promised Land to dwell in the Garden of Eden. The trail from Libra through Capricorn is arduous, and filled with stumbling-blocks. You may weep and wail in Sagittarius, but the Father places you on a platform of Light so you can struggle, fight, and learn to stand. You cannot ever fall all the way back once you pass through the initiatory fires of Sagittarius.

This is the Christos Degree, whose vow is the complete surrender of all self. The great conflict between appetitive soul and Oversoul rages in Capricorn but you reach a point where you cannot breathe without adding more truth. Here you become zealous and experience illumination — as you open the thousand-petaled lotus at the crown center, Light shines through the brow center to illumine the path.

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The Ninth Plague, Darkness for Three Days

“And the Lord said unto Moses, Stretch out thine hand toward heaven, that there may be darkness over the land of Egypt, even darkness which may be felt. And Moses stretched forth his hand toward heaven; and there was a thick darkness in all the land of Egypt three days: They saw not one another, neither rose any from his place for three days: but all the children of Israel had light in their dwellings. And Pharaoh called unto Moses, and said, Go ye, serve the Lord; only let your flocks and your herds be stayed: let your little ones also go with you. And Moses said, Thou must give us also sacrifices and burnt offerings, that we may sacrifice unto the Lord our God. Our cattle also shall go with us; there shall not an hoof be left behind; for thereof must we take to serve the Lord our God; and we know not with what we must serve the Lord, until we come thither. But the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he would not let them go. And Pharaoh said unto him, Get thee from me, take heed to thyself, see my face no more; for in that day thou seest my face thou shalt die. And Moses said, Thou hast spoken well, I will see thy face again no more.” – Exodus 10:1-29.

God sent the plagues because man must see wonders performed to believe in the Almighty. With each plague, they lifted some selfish trait, each time Pharaoh gave up some domination of the self. God stripped Egypt of all Power with the ninth plague. Darkness covered everything and kept it hidden. If you refuse this point of surrender of self, physical blindness will result. The darkness was so thick that the people could feel it. For three days Egypt could do nothing, yet Israel had light in their dwellings.

Three is the number symbolizing perfected personal expression. Three days is the mystical length of time it takes to cleanse the subconscious mind and ascend to God. Egypt had to learn to let go, so for them this was the surrender of self-will and full acceptance of unconquerable faith. This meant a complete spiritual awakening for Israel, to light their dwellings. Most people are living through this plague in the world now. They have light in their dwelling, yet all is darkness outside.

Darkness is under the Aquarius division and the air element — Aquarius is an air sign. Air represents the Mind of God as you. Aquarius is the House of Vision, which represents opening the mystical third eye of mind and soul. Israel was living now by pure soul vision. Egypt had to learn the lesson of the blindness of self, while Israel had to comprehend their full protection.

Pharaoh said that he would let Israel go under the threat of the seventh, eighth and ninth plagues, then changed his mind. Israel still loved Egypt’s materiality, yet they wanted to return to God. The law that Israel needed to apply is “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.” – Matthew 6:24. You cannot serve both God and self. This is the “I want, I try” stage. Pharaoh wanted Israel’s herds and flocks. Aquarius represents the Lamb in heaven, as Aries is the Lamb on earth.

Moses did not appear again at court after Pharaoh threatened him. He no longer needed Aaron or his rod either. He just stretched forth his hand to bring the darkness. God ordered Moses to command Aaron to raise the rod so that He might impel the children of Israel to let Moses and Aaron lead them.

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Tenth Plague, Death of the Firstborn

“So you shall observe the Feast of Unleavened Bread, for on this same day I will have brought your armies out of the land of Egypt. Therefore you shall observe this day throughout your generations as an everlasting ordinance. In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at evening, you shall eat unleavened bread, until the twenty-first day of the month at evening. For seven days no leaven shall be found in your houses, since whoever eats what is leavened, that same soul shall be cut off from the congregation of Israel, whether he is a stranger, or a native of the land. You shall eat nothing leavened; in all your dwellings you shall eat unleavened bread. Then Moses called for all the elders of Israel and said to them, Pick out and take lambs for yourselves according to your families, and kill the Passover lamb. And you shall take a bunch of hyssop, dip it in the blood that is in the basin, and strike the lintel and the two door posts with the blood that is in the basin. And none of you shall go out the door of his house until the morning. For the Lord will pass through to strike the Egyptians; and when He sees the blood on the lintel and on the two door posts, the Lord will pass over the door, and will not allow the destroyer to come into your houses to strike you. And you shall observe this thing as an ordinance for you and your sons forever. It shall come to pass, when you come to the land which the Lord will give you, just as He promised, that ye shall keep this service. And it shall come to pass, when your children shall say to you, What do you mean by this service? that you shall say, It is the Passover sacrifice of the Lord, who passed over the houses of the children of Israel in Egypt, when He struck the Egyptians and delivered our households. So the people bowed their heads and worshiped. Then the children of Israel went away and did so, just as the Lord had commanded Moses and Aaron, so they did. And it came to pass at midnight that the Lord struck all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh who sat on his throne to the firstborn of the captive who was in the dungeon, and all the firstborn of livestock. So Pharaoh rose in the night, he, all his servants, and all the Egyptians; and there was a great cry in Egypt; for there was not a house where there was not one dead.” – Exodus 12:17-30.

Before each plague, Moses received the law and instructed Aaron in what to do. Yet when it came to the death of the firstborn, both Moses and Aaron stepped aside, for only the Father could perform this plague. The firstborn represents the self’s true preferences, such as possession of persons and things. Egypt’s firstborn represents their desire to use Power as self-centered will and wantonly creating force.

The destructive, selfish use of Power leaves the rational soul in bondage to the appetitive soul. Then conflict rages between appetitive soul and Oversoul. This is the true meaning of Israel held in bondage in the Land of Egypt. By this time, Israel preferred loyalty to God and letting Power use them over using self-centered will as force, yet they were required to witness the plague.

Before the death of the firstborn, God told Israel to borrow gold and silver from their neighbors. The Egyptians were glad to give them anything they asked for to get rid of them. The self must freely give its precious holdings up to soul. This despoliation of Egypt represents spiritual alchemy, the transmutation of base metals into gold. Physically, this is raising the creative fire from the base of the spine in the Land of Egypt to the higher creative center in the Garden of Eden, the head. God stripped Egypt of its possession of persons and things because of their disobedience. Israel received only its fair share of back wages for conquering under law.

The tenth plague is under Pisces, the house of divine revelation and heavenly permeation, in which we are living today. Here Light so permeates you that every atom of your being dances. Under the Pisces vibration, you open the gland-like parathalamus structures in the brain to see and hear spiritually. You can polish the virtues and pray with fervent praise to open the parathalamus. Egypt had to be blinded with grief to let go of their possessions, but they were then too blind to see the heavenly realms.

You learn to release the other fellow from bondage to self-will, to love more, to love enough but not to possess. Paul reached this turning point when he “kicked against the pricks” before his conversion on the road to Damascus. Finally, you are too busy picking up your precious pearls of experience to kick against anything life presents.

Israel could see that freedom lay ahead, but they still faced forty years of wandering the wilderness of self to become purified of their taints. The path Home is long, and you must be single-minded in your climb.

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How the Plagues Correspond to the Churches of the Revelation

Egypt represents the self, the appetitive soul unawakened to the needs of the Oversoul. Israel represents the embodied rational soul in bondage to the self.

Egypt symbolizes the appetitive soul enmeshed in matter, materialism, hedonism and satisfaction of all physical creature appetites. At this level of consciousness, appetitive soul has no desire to grow in consciousness. Israel symbolizes the appetitive soul and rational soul in conflict. Creature consciousness is happy in Egypt, but rational soul yearns and longs for a return to its original high place.

The seven churches of the Revelation represent the seven vital centers in the desire body on the lower pole, and the seven Degrees of Initiation on the higher pole of consciousness.

God spoke to the self and to the soul through Moses and the plagues on Egypt. The Spirit, representing the Christ consciousness, spoke to the self and to the soul according to their positions in the Seven Degrees.

Ephesus, the First Church

“Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks; I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars: And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name’s sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted. Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent. But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitanes, which I also hate. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.” – Revelation 2:1-7.

The first plague of water turned to blood corresponds to the church in Ephesus, which left its first love, which was God, and fell from grace. It rules the sacrum center, the seat of the creative fire at the base of the spine. The creative fire runs along the pole of Spirit, the spinal column, called the “pole of Paracelsus,” from the vital center at the sacrum to the crown center atop the head.

The Church in Ephesus correlates to the first plague on Egypt. In Ephesus, the people had been misusing the creative fire. In Egypt, misuse was their way of life. The Egyptians had forgotten Osiris and Isis and their message of immortality. The Israelites had forgotten the one God.

Smyrna, the Second Church

“And unto the angel of the church in Smyrna write; These things saith the first and the last, which was dead, and is alive; I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan. Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; he that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.” – Revelation 2:8-11.

The second plague of frogs corresponds to the church in Smyrna, where people said one thing but lived in the opposite manner. The Spirit told Smyrna to fear nothing worldly, but to ascend higher in consciousness. If they were faithful for the ten days they were cast in the prison of self, they would receive the crown of life. The description of this initiation represents the creative fire, ascending from imprisonment at the sacrum, to the lumbar center.

Pergamos, the Third Church

“And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write; These things saith he which hath the sharp sword with two edges; I know thy works, and where thou dwellest, even where Satan’s seat is: and thou holdest fast my name, and hast not denied my faith, even in those days wherein Antipas was my faithful martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwelleth. But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication. So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitanes, which thing I hate. Repent; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth iç – Revelation 2:12-17.

The third plague of lice corresponds with the church in Pergamos, called the seat of Satan. The navel center, the seat of intellectual selfish will is the seat of Satan. At Pergamos they worshiped false gods and ate food sacrificed to idols, which defiled Mosaic Law. They were wasting their soul substance in misuse. The Spirit told them to repent, to eat of the hidden manna. If they did so, they would receive the white stone, which would open the pineal and the illumination faculty.

Thyatira, the Fourth Church

“And unto the angel of the church in Thyatira write; These things saith the Son of God, who hath his eyes like unto a flame of fire, and his feet are like fine brass; I know thy works, and charity, and service, and faith, and thy patience, and thy works; and the last to be more than the first. Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols. And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not. Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds. And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works. But unto you I say, and unto the rest in Thyatira, as many as have not this doctrine, and which have not known the depths of Satan, as they speak; I will put upon you none other burden. But that which ye have already hold fast till I come. And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations: And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father. And I will give him the morning star. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.” – Revelation 2:18-29.

The fourth plague of swarms of flies corresponds with the church in Thyatira, which listened to the teachings of Jezebel, the false prophetess of Baal, and ate foods sacrificed to idols. The adultery they committed symbolizes the misuse of creative fire. As flies represent the spread of disease, Jezebel symbolizes how immorality adulterates the evidence of the senses. What is healthy becomes that which is defiled.

Sardis, the Fifth Church

“And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead. Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God. Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee. Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy. He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.” – Revelation 3:1-6.

The fifth plague was a murrain, or pestilence on the cattle, and the sixth plague was boils. Both plagues relate to the church of Sardis, where some were physically alive, but spiritually dead. Sardis represents purity of mind, emotions and body, without which there can be no purity of soul.

Philadelphia, the Sixth Church

“And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth; I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name. Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee. Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth. Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown. Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.” – Revelation 3:7-13.

The seventh plague of hail relates to the church in Philadelphia, the church of brotherly love. The Spirit told Philadelphia to “hold fast and let no man take your crown” of love. Love is the only principle that will strengthen the soul to hold fast to its crown of Light.

Laodicea, the Seventh Church

“And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.” – Revelation 3:14-22.

The eighth plague of locusts is associated with the church in Laodicea, where the Spirit cautions the soul to buy gold tried in the fire. Gold symbolizes the pituitary gland, and silver the pineal body in the brain.

Soul illumination is always preceded with trials by fire in life. When illumination strikes, it fills the pituitary and purifies the emotional life. Sufficient illumination ends the need for plagues as trials by fire.

No church of Revelation relates to the ninth or tenth plagues because they represent the soul’s worship of God alone.

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Edna Miriam Lister
1884 – 1971
The original Christian Pioneering Mystic,
Platonist philosopher, American Idealist, Founder, Society of the Universal Living Christ, minister, teacher, author, wife, and mother.

Edna Lister

Note: This Edna Lister Bible study lecture outline is dated May 16, 1934 to June 20, 1934, Buffalo, New York; transcript, December 2, 1958, Cleveland, Ohio. We have merged the outlines with the transcripts here. Scribes: Margaret Pratt Doan, Ruth Johnson, Lotus Landis, Ross and Virginia Whitehead. Scripture: Exodus 3 through Exodus 13.


The Holy Bible. King James Version (KJV). Public Domain.

Horne, Charles Francis. The Sacred Books and Early Literature of the East: With an Historical Survey and Descriptions, vol. 3 of 14. New York: Parke, Austin and Lipscomb, 1917, p. 136. This work is in the public domain.

Related Topic

See The Burning Bush