The Lord of the Pillar of Cloud and Fire

“Then they set out from Succoth and camped in Etham on the edge of the wilderness. And the Lord was going before them in a pillar of cloud by day to lead them on the way, and in a pillar of fire by night to give them light, that they might travel by day and by night. He did not take away the pillar of cloud by day, nor the pillar of fire by night, from before the people.” Exodus 13:20-22

“And with a pillar of cloud Thou didst lead them by day and with a pillar of fire by night to light for them the way in which they were to go.” Nehemiah 9:12


Moses, a Hebrew by birth, was called by God to lead His Hebrew people out
From the ancient land of Egypt to a prayed-for promised land route.
Through his obedience and God’s powerful hand, their burdened lives as slaves
Came to be changed forever because the good Lord hears and saves.

God had heard their desperate cries–and had seen the severe oppression;
After many God-sent plagues, Pharaoh finally made his concession.
So hardhearted had he been, that it had taken a very mighty blow
To his own and all Egyptian families before he would let God’s people go.

Many pestilences had been tried–including frogs and boils on man and beast–
Hail, insects, darkness, and finally, death of firstborns of the greatest man’s home
to the least. That was the deciding plague, which caused the barrier to the Hebrews’
freedom to be broken– while they, in Goshen, were spared, for blood on their doorposts had “spoken.”

Yes, blood from an unblemished lamb on each lintel and doorpost was spread–
This proclaimed that their lives should be preserved because of a lamb that had bled.
They had shared the first Passover meal–a feast remembered to this day,
Which points to God’s sacrificial lamb in Christ–now the Good Shepherd
who leads our way.

After the Passover, God guided His people with a pillar of cloud in their sight;
And for gains through night-time travel, He led by a pillar of fire for needed light.
Quick to regret, Pharaoh pursued the former captives to the brink of the great Red Sea;
But the angel of God and God’s pillar of cloud kept the Hebrews secure and free.

This protection and time were needed, for Moses to stretch forth his hand;
The Lord swept back the sea with a wind all night, creating for the Hebrews dry land.
God’s people then made their way safely, with walls of water on each side–
They followed the leadership of Moses, casting any fears they might have had aside.

God brought Pharaoh’s army into confusion; then the Lord gave Moses the instruction
To stretch forth his hand again, which made way for the pursuers’ destruction.
From out of the pillar of cloud, God caused the Egyptian’s chariot wheels to sway–
The waters turned back and drowned them all, giving the Hebrews victory that day.

Protection and guidance were provided back then through God’s pillar of cloud and fire; Therefore, let’s seek the same Lord of those ancient days who calls us to a life that’s higher. Today a “promised land” is yours through the leading of the Holy Spirit and Jesus Christ, God’s Son–Abundant life now and an eternal home with God is freely offered to everyone.

P. A. Oltrogge

(Based on the Old Testament account in the book of Exodus)

New Testament references:

“And Peter said to them ‘Repent, and let each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.'” Acts 2:38

Words of Jesus:

“…I came that they might have life, and might have it abundantly.” John 10:10

“For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.” Matthew 26:28 KJV

“…and lifting up His eyes to heaven, He said…And this is eternal life, that they may know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent.” John 17: 1. 4

“In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you.” John 14:2

Have the Heart of Ruth

We read in the Bible that Ruth, of Moab, had a loyal and loving heart.
So upon the death of her Hebrew husband, she felt that she couldn’t part
From Naomi, her beloved mother-in-law, who had urged her to make her way
Back to Ruth’s own parent’s home; but, instead, Ruth begged to stay.

She shared her heart, stating that where Naomi went, so, in fact, would she;
Where she lodged and the God she worshiped–these would also be
What she desired for her own particular life, even to her day of dying.
To stay with her late husband’s “family” was the future on which she was relying.

Naomi allowed Ruth, then, to go with her on her Bethlehem-Judah return;
There Ruth would find a special blessing that only God could have discerned.
For there was a kinsman-redeemer through Naomi’s husband’s line,
Whom Ruth would meet, while gleaning in his fields, by God-ordained design.

Related by blood, willing and able to redeem this woman, Boaz entered her life;
A prominent free man, total provision was hers, when she later became his wife.
One can easily see an analogy here to the Bible’s New Testament account that we read
Of God becoming Man, through Jesus Christ–the Kinsman-Redeemer
He knew we would need.

Like Ruth, leave the “god” you once were told about; find shelter under the
true God’s wings.
Look to the Way, the Truth, and the Life–and experience the peace that Christ brings.
Don’t try to make it on your own with God, through acts of service, however kind;
There’s provision for us as “the bride of Christ,” which He, the Bridegroom,
wants us to find.

P. A. Oltrogge

“But Ruth said, ‘Do not urge me to leave you or turn back from following you; for where you go, I will go, and where you lodge, I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God, my God. Where you die, I will die, and there I will be buried. Thus may the Lord do to me, and worse, if anything but death parts you and me.'”
Ruth 1:16-17

“May the Lord reward your work, and your wages be full from the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to seek refuge.”
Ruth 2:12

“You yourselves are my witnesses that I said, ‘I am not the Christ,’ but, ‘I have been sent ahead of Him.’ He who has the bride is the bridegroom; but the friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice. So this joy of mine has been made full. He must increase, but I must decrease.”
John 3:28-30 (words of John the Baptist regarding Christ, the Bridegroom)
Other references:
Matthew 9:15, Mark 2:19,20

Where Are You Placing Your Confidence?

Turn your confidence around;
Let it now in God be found.
There are thoughts that seek to deceive,
But just let God those fears relieve.
Turn your confidence around;
Jesus’ Words are sure and sound.
Cast down any thought that things can’t change–
With God, anything can rearrange.
Turn your confidence around,
For every victory in Him is found.

P. A. Oltrogge

“But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
1 Corinthians 15:57

“For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world–our faith. And who is the one who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?”
1 John 5:4,5

“But thanks be to God, who always leads us in His triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place.”
2 Corinthians 2:14

“But when this perishable will have put on the imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then will come about the saying that is written, ‘Death is swallowed up in victory.'”
1 Corinthians 15:54

Joseph’s Example

Joseph, a son of David, took Mary for his wife,
Believing she was carrying God’s very sacred life.
Joseph stood by her when others may have condemned.
Joseph believed God when they didn’t comprehend.
He was chosen by God, and it was to him that Mary and the Child were sent.
He became the protector of God’s great intent.
Joseph was quick to recognize that in dreams God often spoke,
With messages from His angel, and he obeyed when he awoke.
Joseph named the baby, Jesus, just as he’d been told,
For He would save His people from sins as said by the prophet of old.
In obedience, Joseph went to Egypt–“Out of Egypt did I call My Son.”
Joseph had them stay until God said their time there was done.
We see him obeying God in Bible scene after scene;
Being warned of God, he went to Nazareth, so Jesus would be called a Nazarene.
His part was that of an earthly father, and he obeyed God in that role.
His heart to obey Him was needed to accomplish God’s great goal.
Joseph’s life seems an example of the importance of hearing and obeying God’s voice.
Dear God, may I seek to do that in each and every choice.

P. A. Oltrogge

“…behold an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, ‘Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for that which has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. And she will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for it is He who will save His people from their sins.’ Now all this took place that what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet might be fulfilled, saying, ‘Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and shall bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,’ which translated means, ‘God with us.’ And Joseph arose from his sleep, and did as the angel of the Lord commanded him, and took her as his wife, and kept her a virgin until she gave birth to a Son; and he called His name Jesus.” Matthew 1:20-25

(Further references in Matthew 2)

“Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel.” Isaiah 7:14

“For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us, and the government will rest on His shoulders; and His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6

The Manger…


It’s a funny thing, but I never saw
Why You might have been laid in a bed of straw.
That’s where the animals came to feed,
And that was representative of our daily need
Of the Bread of Life, which, Jesus, You are.
We’re drawn to Your Word like wise men to a star.
To all people the angels proclaimed tidings of great joy,
By pointing to the birth of that God-indwelt boy,
Who lay down in the manger where the animals were fed.
Jesus–the Word was God–You’re our daily bread.

P. A. Oltrogge

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” John 1:1

Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst.” John 6:35

“And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David, in order to register, along with Mary, who was engaged to him, and was with child. And it came about that while they were there, the days were completed for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her first-born son, and she wrapped him in cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.” Luke 2:4-7

From Out of the Miry Clay

“He brought me up out of the pit of destruction, out of the miry clay; and He set my feet upon a rock, making my footsteps firm.” Psalm 40;2

To My mind, your life without Me was like being in miry clay;
But I kept My hope that you’d respond to My love one day.
Where you had been didn’t matter so much,
For I knew that you were in need of My touch.
Ever so gently I drew you away–
I knew this would happen if you would just pray.
By the power of My Spirit you opened your heart,
And now, through My grace, you have gotten a new start.
That person you were has actually died;
A new life’s begun due to “Christ crucified.”

So rejoice in My love as I do in yours.
Share it with others despite troubles or wars,
For I have room for so many through heaven’s open doors.
And from out of heaven’s windows, My love surely pours–
Down to the miry clay–or wherever it may
Find people and lead them out to My way.

P. A. Oltrogge

“I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.”

Galatians 2:20


“He will cover you with His pinions, and under His wings you may seek refuge. His faithfulness is a shield and bulwark.”

Psalm 91:4

“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing!”

Matthew 23:37 (New King James)

Be willing to come to Christ and be blessed….

The Revelation Ride of the King

Listen, my children, and you shall hear
Of the soon return of the King we revere.
In this present year with which we strive,
Not a person is now alive
Who knows the exact year, day, or hour, but it’s near.

Jesus plainly said that as the signs toil
On before our very own sight,
We should have our lamps lit with plenty of oil,
As if on a church tower as a signal light–
Both to guide others and serve as our key
When He on the opposite shore will be.
Ready to ride, but first keep us from harm,
He will catch away His children through city and farm–
Yes, those with His Word, who’ve been up and armed.

When Jesus descends from Heaven with a shout,
There will be no more time for those who claim doubt.
The dead in Christ will be raised up first.
Then believers still alive will leave the earth
To meet the Lord with them in the air,
While others will be left in the tribulation’s snare.

Some misunderstand and say, “None will be left out,”
But that thought is simply a satanic route
To keep you from seeing that God’s beautiful plan
Of salvation was meant for each woman and man.
He lovingly yearns for you to come home–
Don’t be like the prodigal son who would roam.

For, as in the garden of Eden, the voice
Of Satan tells you to make your own choice.
“Surely God didn’t say Christ was THE WAY–
You can stick around here–take time to play.”
But if this life’s pursuits are all you’ve perceived,
You’ll find, in the end, that you’ve been deceived.
It’s a deceptive lie if you think this is all,
When God’s given each one of us a much higher call–
To love Him and others–then join Christ one day,
Bringing all whom we can for an eternal stay.

To put faith in so-called prophets of merit
Or even in good things you’ve done,
Won’t gain you the heaven you hope to inherit–
Since THE DOOR is the sinless Christ, God’s Son.
His blood sacrifice made on the cross
Is the only assurance against heaven’s loss.
There won’t be a Messiah by any other name,
But Jesus Christ of world-renowned fame.

You’re sure of these things, you ask, by what right?
It’s all found in the Bible, which gives us the light.
Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good,
Offering adoption as His children and true brotherhood.
Blessed beyond measure you’ll surely be
Both now and for eternity.

So receive the Lord–it’s simple to pray.
Repent of your sins and turn to Christ’s way.
For as in the time of Noah, it’s now–
What God says is wrong, we must disavow.
The days will get darker in this world of sin,
But Christ is the “Ark,” and He’s urging us to come in.
Things are happening fast upon the world’s scene;
It’s time to embrace what God really did mean.

A hurry of hoofs from a heavenly street,
And the fate of all souls will then be complete.

Revelation tells us that Christ will appear
On a white horse to reign down here,
With a shout of victory and not of fear–
A voice piercing this world’s darkness,
The voice of Him Who is “the Way” and “the Door.”
His Word shall echo forevermore!
For, borne on the night-wind of the past,
Through all earth’s history, to the last,
In the hour of darkness and peril and need,
The people who know Him and have listened to hear
For the hurrying hoof-beats of that steed,
Heed the end-time message of the King we revere!

P. A. Oltrogge

“But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve, as do the rest who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus. For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, and remain until the coming of the Lord, shall not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words.” 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18

“And I saw heaven opened; and behold, a white horse, and He who sat upon it is called Faithful and True; and in righteousness He judges and wages war.  And His eyes are a flame of fire, and upon His head are many diadems; and He has a name written upon Him which no one knows except Himself.  And He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood; and His name is called The Word of God.  And the armies which are in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, were following Him on white horses.  And from His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may smite the nations; and He will rule them with a rod of iron; and He treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty.  And on His robe and on His thigh He has a name written.  ‘KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.'”  Revelation 19:11-16

“Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me.'” John 14:6

“Jesus therefore said to them again, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door, if anyone enters through Me, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.'” John 10:7-9

A Sure Thing…

Don’t just know about Him only in your head,
But be “born again” as Jesus has said.
It isn’t just the date you were born on this earth
That matters as much as your spiritual rebirth.
It’s simply a gift–so easy to claim,
By praying to receive that gift in His Name.
No other Name but Jesus cancels sin;
Just open your heart and ask Him to come in.
Make sure that you’ve done this in your own heart.
It’s faith there that counts–churchgoing’s just a start.
Please don’t let pride or tradition keep
You or those you care about from a love that’s so deep.
Don’t look to “new age” or deceptive ways of thinking,
For they’re no foundation–but sand that is sinking.
And though it is good to think in positive ways,
Such thoughts without Jesus won’t get you through life’s maze.
God’s set before us such an easy choice–
Your salvation through Jesus will make angels rejoice!
And you won’t need to be concerned about daily bread–
You’ll be all right always if you’ll stay spiritually fed.
Another simple thing is to give ten percent–
God will return back to you far more than you sent.
For others are in need and churches must reach
More human beings with this Gospel we preach.
Jesus, Bread of Life, our Friend and our Guide–
Thank you, as well, for your promises to provide.

P. A. Oltrogge

“Now there was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews; this man came to Him by night, and said to Him, ‘Rabbi, we know that You have come from God as a teacher; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.’ Jesus answered and said to him, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the Kingdom of God.’ Nicodemus said to Him, ‘How can a man be born when he is old? He cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born, can he?’ Jesus answered, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going, so is everyone who is born of the Spirit.'” John 3:1-8 (from John 3:1-21)

“But as many as received Him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name: which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.”
John 1:12-12 (King James Version)

“Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, ‘Rulers and elders of the people, if we are on trial today for a benefit done to a sick man, as to how this man has been made well, let it be known to all of you, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ, the Nazarene, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead—by this name this man stands here before you in good health. He is the stone which was rejected by you, the builders, but which became the very cornerstone. And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men, by which we must be saved.'” Acts 4:8-12

“But woe unto you, Pharisees! for ye tithe mint and rue and all manner of herbs, and pass over judgment and the love of God: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.” Luke 11:42 (King James Version)

“And my God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:18

“But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you.” Matthew 6:33

A Baby in a Basket Ark

An account from ancient Egypt…

The Bible tells of a Pharaoh who sought to kill every newborn Hebrew boy.
One woman, Jochebed, hid her baby, to weaken the plot to destroy
his valuable life, which God had ordained, for a great work He had planned–
the deliverance of the Hebrew people from out of Pharaoh’s hand.

When she no longer could hide the baby after three months had passed by,
she put him in a basket by the bank of the river, leaving him under the sky.
At that place, Pharaoh’s daughter came to bathe, never thinking she’d find
an unusual woven chest left there, with treasure of the greatest kind.

Jochebed’s daughter, Miriam, watched to see how her baby brother would fare–
she waited, staying at a distance, after they’d placed the little child there.
Not only that, she was ready to speak up when the baby, then, was found;
her courage to “find” her mother as a nurse turned the whole situation around.

Jochebed’s faith, and her daughter’s caring heart, helped save her baby that day,
when Pharaoh’s daughter beheld the child, and God turned her heart his way.
The compassion she felt caused her to want the child, to raise him as her own,
with no realization it was divine intervention of God reigning upon His throne.

For that particular child was destined to grow up to become Moses, the liberator–
hidden, at first, among reeds–but then welcomed into Pharaoh’s palace later.
Yet God put within Moses a knowing that he was no Egyptian royal;
instead, to his own Hebrew people and their God, his heart was strongly loyal.

In present times, God is pleased to find other “Jochebeds” and their assistants,
who work to save the very young and are today’s abortion trend “resistance.”
Their prayers are protective baskets for children fashioned by God’s hand–
Like Miriam, they seek to bond mother and child–or place them in the home
He has planned.

And who of us knows the destiny of any child not fully born or even grown?
It’s only by the God of the universe, that such things are surely known.
Moses was deemed a special child upon the very day of his birth;
yet to God all children are destined and special, and He counts them of
incalculable worth.

P. A. Oltrogge

“Now a man from the house of Levi went and married a daughter of Levi (Jochebed). And the woman conceived and bore a son; and when she saw that he was beautiful, she hid him for three months. But when she could hide him no longer, she got him a wicker basket and covered it over with tar and pitch. Then she put the child into it, and set it among the reeds by the bank of the Nile. And his sister (Miriam) stood at a distance to find out what would happen to him. Then the daughter of Pharaoh came down to bathe at the Nile, with her maidens walking alongside the Nile; and she saw the basket among the reeds and sent her maid, and she brought it to her. When she opened it, she saw the child and behold, the boy was crying. And she had pity on him and said, ‘This is one of the Hebrews’ children.’ Then his sister said to Pharaoh’s daughter, ‘Shall I go and call a nurse for you?’ And Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, ‘Go ahead.’ So the girl went and called the child’s mother. Then Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, ‘Take this child away and nurse him for me and I shall give you your wages.’ So the woman took the child and nursed him. And the child grew, and she brought him to Pharaoh’s daughter, and he became her son. And she named him Moses, and said, ‘Because I drew him out of the water.'” Exodus 2:1-10

Consider the Birds and the Lilies

Photo by Judy Ginn

Photo by Judy Ginn

Look at the birds of the air…
They don’t sow, reap, or gather
Their needed food into barns–
But are dependent upon God, rather.

Consider how the lilies are clothed–
They toil not, nor do they spin,
But to the heavenly Father’s care
They’re blessed to give in.

Yes, consider these,
And consider giving in
To the message of Christ’s love
Above this world’s din.

Partake, through the Bible, from God’s table
Of spiritual food fit for a King’s heir,
And be clothed in the love of Jesus,
The finest thing you could wear.

Consider the children,
So gentle and so tender–
What kind of faith
To them will you render?

One that speaks dislike
And contempt of others–
Or one that speaks love
And draws all men to be brothers?

The heavenly Father gave Jesus
To tell of God’s care and to guide.
When we take Him as Savior, He gives love
For all others for whom He has died.

So just like the lilies
Or the birds of the air,
May people of all nations be blessed to give in
To Jesus–the way to the Father God’s care….

P. A. Oltrogge

“But I say to you who hear, love your enemies….” Luke 6:27

“And He said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the great and foremost commandment. And a second is like it. You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.'” Matthew 22:37-40

“For this reason I say to you, do not be anxious for your life, as to what you shall eat, or what you shall drink, nor for your body, as to what you shall put on. Is not life more than food, and the body than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single cubit to his life’s span? And why are you anxious about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory did not clothe himself like one of these. But if God so arrays the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more do so for you, O men of little faith? Do not be anxious then, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘With what shall we clothe ourselves?’ For all these things the Gentiles eagerly seek; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not be anxious for tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Matthew 6:25-34