Plagues of Egypt
Dr. Joe Temple

Introduction

We are ready to look at the plagues which God visited upon the Egyptians in order to prepare Pharaoh for the deliverance of the children of Israel from Egypt. The portion of the book of Exodus which begins with chapter 7 and concludes with chapter 10 describes these plagues.

Purpose of the Plagues

I would like to suggest something in a general way about why God sent the kind of plagues He sent. Turn with me, please, to the book of Numbers, chapter 33, as I suggest that these plagues fell for the most part on the objects which the Egyptians worshiped. They fell upon objects of worship, so the visitation of these plagues actually represented a warfare between Jehovah God and the gods of the land of Egypt. That will be evident as we look at the plagues themselves. In addition, in chapter 33 of the book of Numbers, we have that very statement made for us:

Numbers 33

1These are the journeys of the children of Israel, which went forth out of the land of Egypt with their armies under the hand of Moses and Aaron.
2And Moses wrote their goings out according to their journeys by the commandment of the LORD: and these are their journeys according to their goings out.
3And they departed from Rameses in the first month, on the fifteenth day of the first month; on the morrow after the passover the children of Israel went out with an high hand in the sight of all the Egyptians.
4For [notice this verse particularly] the Egyptians buried all their firstborn, which the LORD had smitten among them: upon their gods also the LORD executed judgments.

Notice the last statement of that verse: “upon their gods also the LORD executed judgments.” We will see that that is exactly what happened when God visited Egypt with the plagues.

A Test for the Israelites

There is one other suggestion I would like to make about the purpose of the plagues, this time in relation to the children of Israel themselves. We are prone to think that the plagues affected only the Egyptians, and in reading the story it would seem so. We will notice now how miraculously and marvelously God made a difference between the Israelites and the Egyptians, teaching us that God can and does take care of His own. But we should not think for a moment that the Israelites were untouched by what went on in judgment upon the land of Egypt.

In the book of Deuteronomy, chapter 4, there is an illustration of why, when we are studying anything in the Word of God, we should study all the related passages of Scripture, so that we may have the clear study before us before we settle on any certain interpretation of it. If we were to read what is written concerning the plagues solely as it is found in the book of Exodus, we would not have the complete study. Notice verse 31:

Deuteronomy 4

31(For the LORD thy God is a merciful God;) he will not forsake thee, neither destroy thee, nor forget the covenant of thy fathers which he sware unto them.
32For ask now of the days that are past, which were before thee, since the day that God created man upon the earth, and ask from the one side of heaven unto the other, whether there hath been any such thing as this great thing is, or hath been heard like it?
33Did ever people hear the voice of God speaking out of the midst of the fire, as thou hast heard, and live?
34Or hath God assayed to go and take him a nation from the midst of another nation, by temptations, by signs, and by wonders, and by war, and by a mighty hand, and by a stretched out arm, and by great terrors, according to all that the LORD your God did for you in Egypt before your eyes?

Notice in the midst of this verse the word “temptations.” It really should be “testings,” “trials.” These plagues, in some fashion that is not described, did represent a test for the children of Israel before they were over.

An Imitation of God's Power

Now let us go back to the book of Exodus, chapter 7, and let us skim through these chapters, selecting those Scriptures that have to do with the plagues. Moses and Aaron were instructed to go to Pharaoh, and when they were to speak to him they were to cast down before him the rod with which they had become familiar and which played so important a part in the history of Israel, and it was to become a serpent. In verse 10, Moses and Aaron did that very thing, and it happened as God said:

Exodus 7

11Then Pharaoh also called the wise men and the sorcerers: now the magicians of Egypt, they also did in like manner with their enchantments.
12For they cast down every man his rod, and they became serpents: but Aaron's rod swallowed up their rods.

This is not a plague; it is a miracle which God permitted Moses to perform before Pharaoh and which–notice carefully what I am saying–God permitted the Devil to empower the magicians of Egypt to duplicate. This is an imitation of God's power by the Devil's power. That it was the Devil's power and permitted for only a limited time is indicated by the fact that after the rods of the Egyptians were turned into serpents, the serpent made from Aaron's rod gobbled up all the other serpents, indicating that God's power was supreme.

I think it would be wise for us to anticipate ourselves a little bit and notice the other ways in which the Devil imitated the power of God in the deliverance of the children of Israel. Notice verse 22 of this same chapter. The first plague had been visited–the turning of the Nile River into blood. The Egyptians had to dig holes near the river to obtain water that was drinkable. The story continues:

Exodus 7

22And 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.

The magicians of Egypt did exactly what Aaron did; they turned the water into blood. They did it by the power of the Devil, as we are going to see before we are through. Moses and Aaron did it by the power of God. That is two times, now, that the power of God was imitated.

God Limits Satan's Power

Notice, please, chapter 8, verse 7. The second plague had been brought upon the land of Egypt, the plague of frogs:

Exodus 8

7And the magicians did so with their enchantments, and brought up frogs upon the land of Egypt.

They were able to do the very same thing that Moses and Aaron were able to do. There was no difference in the effect. Notice then, in the same chapter, verse 16, a reference to the third plague–a plague of lice. Then in verse 18, “the magicians did so with their enchantments to bring forth lice, but they could not, so there were lice upon men and upon beasts.” Three times they had been able to imitate God's miracles. When the fourth time came, they were helpless. When they realized their helplessness, in verse 19, they said, “This is the finger of God.” Pharaoh's heart was hardened, and he hearkened not to them as the Lord had said.

Up to this point the magicians were proud of their power to withstand the power of God, and they were saying in so many words that their power was as great as God's power. Now they said, “This is God, and this is as far as we will go.”

Resistance to the Truth

Notice the Holy Spirit's comment on this incident. In the second epistle to Timothy, the names of these magicians are given to us and a description of what they were trying to do, and also an indication that they were operating by the power of the Devil instead of by the power of God:

II Timothy 3

1This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.
2For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
3Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,
4Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;
5Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
6For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts,
7Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.
8Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith.
9But they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest unto all men, as theirs also was.

Notice in verse 8 the names of the two magicians–Jannes and Jambres; and notice what they were doing by means of their miracles. They were resisting the truth; they were resisting Moses, but more importantly than resisting Moses, they were resisting the truth. Notice that they were men of corrupt minds. Notice that they were reprobate concerning the faith, and notice that when God said, “Stop,” they had to stop. The folly of their power was revealed unto all, for in verse 9, we read:

II Timothy 3

9But they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest unto all men, as theirs also was.

The fact that Jannes and Jambres are related to the perilous times at the end of the age, at which time where there will be a tremendous increase in demon activity and a manifestation of the power of the Devil, indicates that the power which these men used was not magic power, was not slight of hand, but was from the Devil.

Let us learn a very important lesson from this: By the permission of God the Devil can duplicate the work of God. Do not be deceived by miracles. Do not assume that every miracle is performed by the power of God. It can be performed by the power of the Devil.

But let me suggest another word of caution. It would behoove us to be very careful that we do not go about saying, just because we do not agree with certain miracles, or because we cannot understand certain miracles, that what was done was done by the power of the Devil. By the same principle, we should not be so gullible as to think that a miracle proves the blessing of God on any endeavor. It does not necessarily follow.

God's Attack Upon Egypt's Idols

Now if you will come back to the book of Exodus, chapter 7, we will look at the plagues which were visited upon the land of Egypt. The first plague is presented to us in verse 17.

Exodus 7

17Thus saith the LORD, In this thou shalt know that I am the LORD: behold, I will smite with the rod that is in mind hand upon the waters which are in the river, and they shall be turned to blood.
18And the fish that is in the river shall die, and the river shall stink; and the Egyptians shall loathe to drink of the water of the river.

This is the first plague described, and it is the first attack upon the idols of Egypt. This was the Nile River, and the Nile River was worshiped as a god in the land of Egypt. Keep in mind that the Egyptians did not worship only one god; they worshiped many gods. The Nile River was as sacred to them as the Ganges River is to the Hindus. Imagine how distressed they were, and with what consternation they viewed this plague, when the river which had been a source of life to them–that is why they worshiped it–suddenly became a source of death. It could cause them to think that the God whom Moses served was indeed stronger than the god which they worshiped.

Seven days later, if you will glance at chapter 8, the second plague was brought upon the land of Egypt.

Exodus 8

1And the LORD spake unto Moses, Go unto Pharaoh, and say unto him, Thus saith the LORD, Let my people go, that they may serve me.
2And if thou refuse to let them go, behold, I will smite all thy borders with frogs:
3And the river shall bring forth frogs abundantly, which shall go up and come into thine house, and into thy bedchamber, and upon thy bed, and into the house of thy servants, and upon thy people, and into thine ovens, and into thy kneadingtroughs:
4And the frogs shall come up both on thee, and upon thy people, and upon all thy servants.

We will not pause long on this, but sometimes you should stop and think what a terrible thing this plague was, made increasingly terrible because the Egyptians worshiped frogs. They had a frog-headed goddess, and no person in Egypt would think that he was at all well buried unless several frogs were embalmed and buried with him. Anything that was sacred to the Egyptians was never killed. Do you see the predicament in which they were? A frog-headed god that you bow down to and worship is not so terrible; frogs along rivers that come out and croak at night are not so bad; but when you wake up and find them in bed with you, and when you begin to make biscuits and they are in the dough, something needs to be done about it.

Here Jehovah made another attack upon the gods. Remember the passage of Scripture we read? This was a warfare between Jehovah and the false gods of Egypt, and again Jehovah was victorious.

The Plague of Lice

Glance at verse 16 for the third plague:

Exodus 8

16And the LORD said unto Moses, Say unto Aaron, stretch out thy rod, and smite the dust of the land, that it may become lice throughout all the land of Egypt.
17And they did so; for Aaron stretched out his hand with his rod, and smote the dust of the earth, and it became lice in man, and in beast; all the dust of the land became lice throughout all the land of Egypt.

Now we will depart from what we have been saying. Lice were not worshiped in Egypt, but this was still part of God's war upon the gods of Egypt. Lice were considered unclean, and according to the rules of worship on the part of the Egyptians, if an individual was unclean–many things could make them unclean–he could not approach the altar of any god. He could not worship in any fashion. He was shut off from any contact with deity. Lice made them unclean from top to bottom. That is why the magicians, who were related to the priests of Egypt, said in verse 19, “This is the finger of God. This has gone far enough. Pharaoh, we are ruined. We have no way of worship. We have no way of getting in touch with our deities. Let the people go.” As you know, he didn't.

Plague of the Sacred Beetles

In verse 21 we have the fourth plague recorded. This verse introduces the plague with the words:

Exodus 8

21Else, 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.

Well, this is a bad enough plague if we read it exactly as it is here–a plague of flies in this fashion. But you will notice that the word “flies” is in italics. That means it is not in the original text. Actually what God sent upon the land of Egypt were swarms of sacred beetles, which were worshiped by the Egyptians. Here again, God is making war on the gods of Egypt, belittling them in the eyes of the people who had worshiped them so long. Now you might not hesitate to swat a fly, but you would hesitate to swat a god if you believed in many gods. Realize the predicament in which these people were. Here were these sacred beetles everywhere. They had always worshiped them; now it was kill them or be plagued forever. Can you not see how the very roots and foundations of their faith, false though it was, were being taken from them? God was making war upon the gods of Egypt.

Let us pause for a moment in our perusal of these plagues to notice in verse 22 God's promise concerning his people:

Exodus 8

22And 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.

That is a tremendous miracle. If God had said to the Israelites who lived in the land of Goshen, “Hurry and put up screens everywhere; the flies are coming,” it would not have been such a miracle. But He said, “They will be all over the land of Egypt, but they will not be in the land of Goshen.” It was just as if God should say today, “The south side of Abilene will be plagued with sacred beetles [or flies or whatever have you]. The south side will be covered, but there will not be a fly on the north side of town.”

Plague Upon the Cattle

Try to comprehend that. That is what God did for the land of Goshen, because God always makes a difference between His people and the Devil's people. Notice chapter 9:

Exodus 9

1Then 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.
2For if thou refuse to let them go, and wilt hold them still,
3Behold, 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.

Oxen were sacred to the Egyptians. They worshiped them and now the very animal to which they had bowed down in worship for centuries was to be stricken. What could they do? They were helpless, and God reminded them once again that He was God. Notice in verse 6 the gracious care of God again for the children of Israel:

Exodus 9

6And 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.

God protects His own.

Defilement Because of Boils

The sixth plague is described in verse 8:

Exodus 9

8And 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.
9And 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.

Moses did exactly that, and it happened according to the Word of God. The Egyptians were a very proud race. They were known for their cleanliness. The kind of boil that is mentioned here is one that is constantly erupting. They were covered from head to toe. Not only was there the pain of the boil, but there was the defilement because of the boil that again made it impossible for them to approach any of their altars and made it impossible for them to be the clean people they tried to be. The priests endeavored to be so clean in connection with their worship that they put new linen garments on several times a day. They shaved three times a day just to be sure that they were clean when they approached the altars. You can realize what these boils would do to them; you can see why it was so serious.

Plague of Hail

The seventh plague is presented in verse 18:

Exodus 9

18Behold, tomorrow 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.
19Send 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.

A great hail storm, greater than any Egypt had ever seen, killed the oxen. It was startling to the Egyptians because, if you would compare notes in these chapters, you would find that this hail storm came in the month of February, an unheard of thing in Egypt. Never, never had such a storm come in February. Out of the clear skies came hail, and the people recognized the hand of God again.

Notice verse 20:

Exodus 9

20He that feared the word of the LORD among the servants of Pharaoh made his servants and his cattle flee into the houses:
21And he that regarded not the word of the LORD left his servants and his cattle in the field.
24So 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.
25And 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.
26Only in the land of Goshen, where the children of Israel were, was there no hail.

This was God's separation again.

Locusts Covered the Earth

In chapter 10 we have presented to us the eighth plague, which was a plague of locusts. Notice verse 4:

Exodus 10

4Else, if thou refuse to let my people go, behold, tomorrow will I bring the locusts into thy coast:
5And 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:
6And 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.

The locusts came just exactly as God had said they would, and they devoured the property of the Egyptians, stripping the land.

Darkness Over the Land

The ninth plague is presented in verse 21:

Exodus 10

21And 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 (that is expressive, isn't it?).
22And Moses stretched forth his hand toward heaven; and there was a thick darkness in all the land of Egypt three days:

This was war again on the gods of Egypt, because the Egyptians worshiped the sun. The sun was a god to them, and now their god was gone. Jehovah was supreme again. The only difference, and what an effect it would have had on them, was that all the children of Israel had light in their dwellings. God made a difference again.

Death of the Firstborn

The tenth and last plague we merely mention; it is a lesson in itself because it is related to the Passover feast. This tenth and last plague was the most serious one:

Exodus 11

1And the LORD said unto Moses, Yet will I bring one plague more upon Pharaoh, and upon Egypt; afterwards he will let you go hence: when he shall let you go, he shall surely thrust you out hence altogether.

The last plague that God brought was on the death of the firstborn in all the land of Egypt. Then indeed Pharaoh thrust the Israelites out. He was glad to see them go, and so were all the Egyptians.

Compromises Suggested By Pharaoh

One other thing I would like to leave with you out of these chapters for the spiritual lesson that I trust it will bring to your hearts. It is a glance at the compromises which Pharaoh suggested to the children of Israel in regard to their leaving the land of Egypt. We have been reading about the hardness of Pharaoh's heart. Every time one of these plagues came, Pharaoh temporarily relented and decided it might be all right for the children of Israel to do what God had asked them to do. Then as soon as the particular plague was lifted, his heart became hard and he refused to let the people go.

In the midst of this process of the hardening of his heart–for it was a process–Pharaoh suggested several compromises. In these compromises lie some spiritual lessons for us, because you will find in your study of the Word of God that Egypt is a type of the world. The deliverance of the children of Israel from the land of Egypt is comparable to our deliverance from darkness to light. Our relationship to the world is typified positively and negatively by the relationship of the children of Israel to the land of Egypt. So I would like for you to notice with me these four compromises.

Moses Rejects Compromises

In chapter 8 of the book of Exodus, after the plague of flies or sacred beetles, in verse 25:

Exodus 8

25And Pharaoh called for Moses and for Aaron, and said, Go ye, sacrifice to your God in the land.

Remember that the original command, which became a request, was that they should go three days' journey to worship God. Three days' journey would have taken them out of the land of Egypt, as we learned. Pharaoh said, “Well, things are pretty bad; let's make a deal. You worship God. It's all right for you to worship God. Sacrifice to your God, but sacrifice to him in the land. Stay in Egypt and sacrifice to God.” Notice Moses' answer in verse 26:

Exodus 8

26And 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?
27We will go three days' journey into the wilderness, and sacrifice to the LORD our God, and he shall command us.

What was Moses' answer? “If we stay in the land of Egypt, our worship will be an abomination in the eyes of the Egyptians.” The spiritual parallel which I would like to draw is simply that when you and I are born again, we become new creatures in Christ Jesus; and if we remain in the world without any evidence in our lives that we have been born again, our very worship of God becomes an abomination in the eyes of the unregenerated.

Christians Who Compromise

How often have you heard people in the world say, concerning Christians–sometimes unjustly, more times justly than unjustly–“Well, if that's Christianity, I don't want it. If that fellow is a Christian, deliver me.” What is wrong with those folk? They are trying to live in Egypt and worship God at the same time, and the only result is an abomination. It is a compromise. That is why we are told in the Word of God to come out from among them, to be separate, and to touch not the unclean thing (II Corinthians 6:17). We are not suggesting that you go into a monastery in order to be separated, but we are suggesting that there be a difference without compromise between your life and the world.

Keeping Egypt In Sight

The second compromise is presented to us in verse 28 of chapter 8 when 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. If you feel that you've got to go into the wilderness, go, but don't go too far. Keep Egypt in sight.”

Exodus 8

9And Moses said, Behold, I go out from thee, and I will entreat the LORD that the swarms of flies may depart from Pharaoh, from his servants, and from his people, tomorrow: but let not Pharaoh deal deceitfully any more in not letting the people go to sacrifice to the LORD.

Pharaoh's compromise offer was, “Keep Egypt in sight.” Many Christians do that; many Christians have not settled once and for all their allegiance to Christ. They want to keep in sight the things of the world. And they like every once in a while to make a little foray back into the world, forgetting their deliverance from it, and the Devil is pleased. If the Devil cannot keep you in Egypt, he wants to arrange your life so you will keep Egypt in sight. Your eyes should not be filled with the things of this earth; they should be filled with the things of Heaven:

Philippians 3

16Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing.
17Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample.
18(For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ:
19Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.)

Their minds are occupied with things of this earth. In contrast, in verse 20, our conversation, our manner of life, the thing which occupies our minds, is from Heaven, from whence we look for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.

Philippians 3

21Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.

Do we value earthly things? Well, it's awfully easy to do if we keep Egypt in sight.

Leaving Loved Ones In the World

Notice in chapter 10, verse 8, the third compromise which Pharaoh suggested to the Israelites:

Exodus 10

8And 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?
9And Moses said, We will go with our young and 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.
10[Notice now] 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.
11Not 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.

The third compromise that Pharaoh offered was that the men should go but leave the women and children in Egypt. That was a smart suggestion. He knew that no matter how much they worshiped, as long as those they loved were in Egypt, they would be back. Many have been the homes that have been divided by the preaching of the Gospel when the husband or wife has come to know the Lord and the other member of the family of the partnership has not. Many have been the homes that were never fully Christian because one member of the family was still in the world, and the pull was so great that the other members could not go on with the Lord. We have a Scriptural injunction to remember Lot's wife (Luke 17:32). Do you know why you are supposed to remember her? Not because she turned to a pillar of salt. You are supposed to remember her because she left her children in Sodom. Because she left her children in Sodom, she could not go on with the Lord herself.

All too often, I am afraid, we compromise; we leave our children in the world as we try to go on with God, and we find ourselves being pulled back into the world because our loved ones are there. This is tremendous food for thought, and I trust the Spirit of God will minister it to your heart in the days that are to come.

Make a Clean Break

The last compromise at which we will look is found in verse 24 of this same chapter.

Exodus 10

24And 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.

“By all means take the children, but leave your herds and cattle; leave your property. Leave a little interest in Egypt.” He knew that if their property was there, they would be back. Notice Moses' answer in verse 25:

Exodus 10

25And Moses said, Thou must give us also sacrifices and burnt offerings, that we may sacrifice unto the LORD our God.
26Our 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.

Did you notice what he said? “Everything goes; not a hoof will be left behind. We are making a clean break.” Why was it necessary to make that clean break? “We do not know with what we must serve the Lord until we come thither. You say leave some of the cattle here. We don't know what God wants of us. We don't know what He has in store for us. We don't know what His plan is, so everything is yielded and dedicated to Him.”

I would suggest that the only way you will ever live victoriously with Christ is to come to the place in your spiritual experience where you cut all ties with the old life–not gradually, not one by one, but completely–and leave not a hoof behind. Any alliance which is entangling for the child of God will prevent you as God's child from doing the thing that God wants, and none of us knows what He may want.


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