Waiting in Holy Solemnity
Walter Beuttler

Very often the Lord gives me this chorus, "When He calls me, I will answer." Do you have that chorus here? You don't? Oh, that's a good one, " When He calls me, I will answer." Many times, the Spirit uses that. I can sit on an airplane crossing the Atlantic or across the Pacific or into North America, what have you. I can be reading "The Reader's Digest" or something. Or, I may be in the back having a little talk with the hostess comparing travel experiences, and lo and behold, all of a sudden there is the chorus, "When He calls me, I will answer." And I know what it means, " Beuttler, get ready. Be ready, I'll be calling on you soon."

I get that signal. I cut my conversation, or close my "Reader's Digest," or what have you; or else keep on reading, but be very alert. All of a sudden, there comes a spirit of prayer, spirit of intercession of "that's it." Many times, He gives me an alert, a few minutes warning that's He's going to call, and to be ready for Him. To me, this is marvelous.

I was on a non-stop flight to Dakar, Africa from New York on a Pan American flight. The flight was only about half or less than half filled. It was late afternoon and they were beginning to serve supper. The lady across the isle by the window sort of motioned to me, and I understood what she meant. She suggested that I come over and have supper with her. You know it gets boring just sitting on a flight for so many, many hours.

Well, I was sort of bored myself, and I wondered for a moment what to do, and I thought, "Beuttler, no, you better not." Awhile before, I had the chorus, "When He calls me, I will answer." I thought, "No." So I pretended I didn't get the signal and just stayed in my corner, and she signaled somebody else. They were there and were talking all evening into the night. That could have been me, except I'm not a big talker.

Sure enough, after awhile, here came a spirit of intercession. Now I could have been over there, shall I say, socially involved, and you couldn't just say, "Excuse me lady, the Lord's calling me for prayer. I've got to go back into my corner." That would be an awful situation. The Lord had given me a warning. He does that many times. He gives me advance notice, sometimes through a song, "When He calls me, I will answer," and that gets me ready, believe you me.

Now then, let's see what I have here. In Isaiah 30:29. Those of you that wanted to know specifically, "Well, what am I supposed to do when I wake up or the Lord awakens me, or I feel the Lord caused me to get awake? What am I supposed to do?" Well, here you are:

"Ye shall have a song, as in the night when a holy solemnity is kept; and gladness of heart, as when one goeth with a pipe to come into the mountain of the Lord, to the mighty One of Israel." Isaiah 30:29

"When a holy solemnity is kept." Now there is such a thing as a holy solemnity when you sit there, and for no other reason. You have no special presence, no special guidance, for no other reason than that you admire your God, worship your God. You sit there quietly with your spirit reaching out up to God, a heart directed God ward in a state of worship. It's the time of holy solemnity.

And you can just sit there, hands up ahead. I use a chair with arms so I can support my elbows because you get tired. I just sit there. Oh, an hour, half hour or quarter, two hours. I have done it more than that; just sit there in a holy solemnity. Once in awhile a little praise comes out quietly, "Praise the Lord, Hallelujah."

Look in Psalms 92:1-3. Believe you me, folkses, this might not sound like much. You might think it's a little thing to listen to, but don't you believe it. It's one of the greatest treasures you can give to God. It's one of the greatest pleasures, which God enjoys when His people sit in the night (or by day) in a holy solemnity. No prayer request, no asking for money, no asking for healing, no asking for anything. It's all one way now, a holy solemnity. This is to God of a very great price.

Now there is a place for worship and the drums, and the German umpa, umpa. I have yet to hear them in Auckland. There is a place for all of that, but there's now the other side also. That's what we're dealing with.

"It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord, and to sing praises unto thy name, Oh most High: To shew forth thy lovingkindness in the morning, and thy faithfulness every night, Upon an instrument of ten strings, and upon the psaltery; (and the drummery) upon the harp with a solemn sound." Psalms 92:1-3

Um! This solemnity need not only be a solemnity of silence, although there is that. In Habakkuk we read, "Be still and know that I am God." The very grandeur and omnipotence and greatness of God silences the human spirit. Be still, be silent, "Be still and know that I am God." But there is also a holy solemnity in song. Here you have it, "Upon the harp with a solemn sound," a low sound.

As you sit there before the Lord, you can engage in a solemnity, a holy solemnity, by a low sound: "Hallelujah, Praise the Lord" (very quietly and softly). Can you hear me back there? "Praise God, Hallelujah, Glory, Hallelujah" (very quietly), a holy solemnity, a worshipful silence interspersed with a low sound. As we have it hear, a solemn sound, when the instruments play very low, barely audible, when the voice seems in whispers, " Great is our God, how great is our God"-A holy solemnity in the middle of the night. Does God ever love that, folkses. Songs in the night sung in a holy solemnity unto God. A holy solemnity that does nothing but sit, or lie or stand, whatever, "Oh God, Oh God, Praise God"-A holy solemnity in the middle of the night. And I repeat, "Does God ever appreciate it."

I had carried this on for weeks every night. I got up on my own though. That was in the beginning. And I would sit there in a chair I had prepared so I'd be comfortable. I told you that the other night. There was no special presence; I just knew that my God was all around, so He was there. After all, He's wherever we are. He fills heaven and earth. He fills Auckland. He even fills Town Hall. Every place, God fills. And when you realize that, it is so easy to engage in a holy solemnity. And I did that.

One night I clearly perceived in my spirit, there was no sound or voice. I clearly perceived in my spirit the Lord coming up from behind me. I was sitting in a chair. He was coming up from behind, walking toward me. Now the Lord hears what I'm saying. He knows it's the truth. I wouldn't dare tell you a fib. The Lord bent over me from behind like this (demonstrated). I was facing this way, and He came up like this, and He bent over me. I could perceive He bent His head and looked down, and folkses, as sure as you sit here, as sure as God hears my every word, I had the feeling as though it were literally so, of drops falling on my head. I could feel like drops fall on my head-several. I do not know how many, not many but several. I had the clearest (How strong can I make this?), most positive knowledge instinctively conveyed by the Spirit, that what I felt were the tears of the Lord's appreciation falling on my head. I'm not saying they were literal tears. They were a manifestation of His presence. He let me feel them. I'm not saying they were literal, but they were as real as though they were.

They were the tears of the Lord's appreciation that someone would be up night after night, for a time only, to sit there in a holy solemnity. He wanted me to know the depth of the appreciation of His heart for getting up during the night to keep a holy solemnity. These are some of the treasures of the riches of the knowledge of God that God has for those whose heart and spirit is poised God ward-a holy solemnity. So when you don't know what to do, start a holy solemnity.

"Yet the Lord will command his lovingkindness in the daytime, and in the night his song shall be with me, and my prayer unto the God of my life." Psalms 42:8

There is also here a place for prayer, but when I engage in a holy solemnity, I do not intersperse petitions. Sometimes a petition slips in. You know, when I ask Him for something. I say, "Lord, forgive me. Cancel the request. I don't want you to answer it." It just slips in unaware, but this is no time for petition. I'll do that some other time. Now it's a holy solemnity. "Cancel the request, don't answer it. Sorry, it slipped in."

On the other hand, there is a place and a time for this prayer, particularly a worshipful time of prayer. That brings us to Psalms 141:2. "Let my prayer be set forth before thee as incense; and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice." Here is a prayer of worship, where our prayers, worshipful prayers, are going up unto God like a cloud of incense that burns, that has a very pleasant fragrance and rises up to the Lord like a cloud. And you sit there burning incense in your spirit.

I have been awakened by night already with the incense of worship burning in my heart. I could sense, I could feel the inner presence just rising up like a cloud of incense unto the Lord. That would wake me up and it was time for a holy solemnity. Now we turn to Isaiah 26:9 that I had also touched on this morning, but I want to add something.

"With my soul have I desired thee in the night; yea, with my spirit within me will I seek thee early." Isaiah 26:9

Some of us put God in second place. We have to attend to other things first. But here you have the Spirit of God reaching out early. The inner spirit, our spirit, reaches out after God.

I remember during World War I, there was an air raid by the French on the German city of Stuttgart. Now that's long ago. That was started, if you remember, in 1914. And this was the early part of the war, right at the beginning. That night I remember searchlights were sending their beams up all over the sky. Oh, that is something with the lights! The night was full of strong beams of lights, sharp searchlights bearing into the dark. I still remember them and how they moved around to search the sky to bring these French bombers into the light so they could shoot them down if they could get them. These things went all over. To my recollection, they didn't find them, at least not that I know. They went all over.

Well that's like the human spirit reaching out after God, searching out after God. Not that we can find Him like a search light, but it's a case of the Spirit of God reaching out in search after God, and God would certainly let Himself be found.

Now we come to a different note. Some people's candles go out. We're now come to the other side. There are people who know all about what I'm talking about. I know some of you know about it. There are bound to be people who know about what I'm saying, or just about, whose experience was this years ago. But years ago, for one reason or another, their candle has gone out. They are sitting no more up with the Lord. They no longer have any light in the dark, and that we have to consider also.

In Psalms 77:5-7, David is in trouble. He had failed the Lord, and now we see some of his concern. I feel sorry for that man, awfully sorry. I really do. I can tell you why. Quite a number of years ago in the United States, I was by the seashore. There were lots of people there. It was summertime. And here came an airplane that pulled along a streamer with advertising in the sky, a long rope with letters on it, and they were floating as the plane pulled it along. I was looking up wondering what was coming there, trying to read it as the plane came along. I looked up and here was that long trail as it was pulled by the plane, and it said, "David and Bathsheba." Oh, that was awful.

Can you imagine several thousand years after that incident had happened, David's sin was proclaimed from the sky. Think of it! If that man had known that, I don't know what he would have done. How cruel the world can be. David and Bathsheba-Several thousand years after the incident, his sin was advertised and made a movie for other people who can enjoy something like that, and who are not likely to be any better, and a whole lot worse than David himself in that respect. Here we have this man.

"I have considered the days of old, the years of ancient times. I call to remembrance my song in the night; I commune with mine own heart; and my spirit made diligent search. Will the Lord cast off forever? And will he be favorable no more?" Psalms 77:5-7

Oh my! Will the Lord cast off forever? I remember my song in the night. Folkses, there are God's people who used to enjoy the practice of a holy solemnity; who used to have a song from the Lord in the night; who used to be touched by His hand because it was time for a holy solemnity; who used to enjoy His presence, sitting up with Him during the night, but the experience has now become a mere memory.

Now we are, I suppose, about a thousand people here tonight, so I understand. How many could there be among us who have only a memory left of the songs in the night years ago, the presence, the holy solemnity, and are now in distress because their candle has gone out. But we are here today to lighten our candle again.

Here David remembered, and it's a good thing to remember experiences that have been lost; the songs that are today a mere echo of the past; the songs that have been lost years ago. It's well to remember in order that we might do something about it and lighten our candle again.

"Oh that I were as in months past, (Look at this man's grief) as in the days when God preserved me; When his candle shined upon my head, and when by his light I walked through darkness; As I was in the days of my youth, when the secret of God was upon my tabernacle; When the Almighty was yet with me, when my children were about me." Job 29:2-5

God is sharing with us tonight some of His secrets, especially for those that have lost the experience, and can remorsefully and sadly say, "When his candle shined upon my head, when by his light I walked through darkness; when the secret of God was upon my tabernacle."

How many of us tonight perchance have lost the secret of a holy solemnity, have lost the light because the candle has gone out; the truths are no longer real and all but forgotten? How many have to think back and say, "I remember too, when God gave me a song in the night; when He shared with me the secrets upon His heart years ago."

For it is written, " The secret of the Lord is with them that fear him." In the French translation it reads, "The intimate communion of the Lord are with them that fear him." How many have to say, "When his candle shined upon my head as a past experience? When by his light I walked through darkness-past experience? When the secret of God was upon my tabernacle-past experience? When the Almighty was yet with me, when I had the awareness of His presence, an awareness I have not enjoyed for years, and years, and years?" It's good to remember that. This man Job here is yearning for his God afresh, thinking back what he had enjoyed.

We're turning here to the Song of Solomon 3:1-4. God is going to re-lighten some candles. I just wish this microphone were a candle burning. And I just wish (and this is talking, yet there is reality in it). I could so wish that everyone whose candle has gone out would have brought tonight a candle unlit, and could come up tonight with their unlit candle and light their candle at this candle, and walk off with their lit candle as symbolic of having the candle in their spirit lit again by His light. I hope that will be the experience even apart from the symbolism, but I'd love to see that.

"By night on my bed I sought him whom my soul loveth; I sought him, but I found him not. I will rise now, and go about the city in the streets, and in the broad ways I will seek him whom my soul loveth; I sought him, but I found him not. The watchmen that go about the city found me: to whom I said, Saw ye him whom my soul loveth? I was but a little that I passed from them, but I found him whom my soul loveth; I held him, and would not let him go, until I had brought him into my mother's house." Song of Solomon 3:1-4

Now back again, " By night on my bed I sought him whom my soul loveth." The night is not only for sleep. The night is also for seeking God. In some ways, the night is far better than the day. You can figure out those ways yourself, but we have a lesson here.

She said, "I'm going to look for my beloved." So she went out to the city, to the Broadway. She went up Queen Street, and Broadway, New York, and Piccadilly Circle in London, and Nathan Road, Hong Kong, what have you. She couldn't find him. She saw the watchman and said, "Have you seen him?"

"No, he hadn't seen him."

Now note, here's a little secret. "It was but a little that I passed from them, but I found him ." This restoration of our candle of the holy solemnity will require an effort to seek him afresh, to go after him afresh. "And, it was but a little that I passed from them." In this search, we have to go beyond where the rank and file, the ordinary crowd is going. We need to make a greater than average effort. "It was but a little that I passed from them." We usually need to do better than our neighbor and better than the person who sits next to us.

These are great treasures. They're not found on the surface. They're not in Woolworth's 5 and dime. No, they require a diligent search, an earnest desire, an utmost effort. She found him, shall I say, she had her candle relit. And then she said, "And I would not let him go." She held on for dear life. That's what we need to do. She appreciated his presence, but it required a diligent search.

How will I search? Oh, you get up. Don't wait for the Lord to wake you. If you're interested, get up anytime. "Lord, I'm going to keep holy solemnity. Here I sit." As I told you before, if you will keep this up with diligence, with sincerity, there is bound to come a point where your candle, so to speak, gets lit and you have a wondrous experience in His presence and light in your darkness.

Notice the same book, chapter 5, verses 2 and 6. " I sleep, but my heart waketh." Now here I'm going to say something I do not know how many of you can take it, but I remember the words of Jesus, "All of you cannot receive this saying save they to whom it is given."

"I sleep, but my heart waketh." I have had experiences where I knew I slept all night, and yet knew that all night long my spirit was in communion with the Lord. I had communion when I fell asleep, and the communion continued uninterrupted until I woke up. Now I haven't had that often, but I've had it. "I sleep, but my heart waketh." Now the heart here is not meant our blood pumping station. Our heart is meant the essence of our personality, our spirit.

"I sleep, but my heart waketh; it is the voice of my beloved that knocketh." Have you ever read in Revelation, "Behold, I stand at the door and knock." Oh I know what it means, but I'll tell you something, I know what it also means. It means that there are times where the Lord might awaken you by letter. You hear a knock at your door. (Knock, knock, knock) Don't argue with me. No argument. If you don't believe it, leave it alone. I know what I'm talking about.

Many, many times over the years, the Lord has awakened me that way. When He's in a hurry, where there is something special, something urgent, it's knock, knock, knock, knock (demonstrates by a rapid knocking on the pulpit). Rapid knocking, I know I'm in a hurry, get up quick. I can sometimes tell (not always, but sometimes) by the way He knocks, what He wants: whether He comes as a lover, where's it's a little time of fellowship; whether He comes for some deliciousmous communion; whether He comes because there is something wrong. I can tell from the way He knocks-something urgent, not always, but at times.

Usually the knocking is right next to my ear. Sometimes it's father away. You can say what you like. You can say that man up there needs to go to the cookoo house. Well, God made the cookoos. I don't care what you say. I know whereof I speak, and you would do well if at least you say, "Well, I can't see it, but maybe there is something to it." But don't ask the Lord to do it this way with you. You must leave that to Him. Nevertheless, it happens, and as I said, over the years many times that has occurred.

Now here is says, "It is the voice of my beloved," or in the Hebrew, "it is the sound of my beloved." Now what are you going to do? "It's the sound of my beloved. " (He knocks on the pulpit again.)

"It's the sound of my beloved that knocketh, saying, Open to me, my sister, my love, my dove, my undefiled; for my head is filled with dew, and my locks with the drops of the night." Song of Solomon 5:2

He says, "Open up, or get out of bed, get up." He'll come to you and He'll knock, or in some way awaken you, and you know what He means, "Time to get up." Usually staying in bed doesn't work. Oh, it works, but a different way, 40 more winks, and by the time you awake again, there's nothing left. And she made an excuse. Here is where we fail. There is a lack of response to His offer. " I have put off my coat; how shall I put it on?" Or why should I put it on again? I just went to bed? I just went to sleep a little while and got my nightie or pajamas, what have you. Why should I get dressed again?

I have washed my feet (tootsies). You see, they were barefooted and they get dusty, so they wash their feet before they go to bed. "I have washed my feet; how shall I defile them?" In other words, I just washed my feet; I don't want to get them dirty again.

"My beloved put in his hand by the hole of the door, and my bowels (insides) were moved for him. I rose up to open to my beloved (she finally got up); and my hands dropped with myrrh, and my fingers with sweet smelling myrrh, upon the handles of the lock. I opened to my beloved; but my beloved had withdrawn himself, and was gone; my soul failed when he spake; I sought him, but I could not find; I called him, but he gave me no answer." Song of Solomon 5:3-6

Now what we have here is missed opportunities. And I must confess, I have missed many times, especially in the earlier years, when the Lord came by night and failed to get a response from me. How many of us have in times past been awakened by the Lord? We knew right well it was time to get up and spend time with Him and what did we do? Oh Lord, quarter to 3? That's me. (Makes snoring sound). Then when you finally wake up and are willing to get up, you get no place-He's gone. There's no presence, there's no appeal, there just is nothing there, nothing but deadness, and you know you missed Him. How many opportunities we miss because we simply do not respond because of inconvenience. I have failed that way many times over the years, just too late, or too early, or too hard or what have you.

But she missed Him. She had the fragrance of His presence. Yummy, I can sense His presence. Yes, I can smell His presence all right, but He is gone. And what is the presence to Him?

We have had that in our school, a great revival where the Lord manifested His presence through the sense of smell. I told that once years ago, but most of you weren't there. We had a nurse in the school who never used perfume. She never used it. It was against her principles. Times have changed, of course. She might have too by now, I do not know. And there was in that chapel, a fragrance throughout that chapel. I couldn't describe it. Oh, what a fragrance! And she went home. Her husband took care of the boys so she could go to chapel. She got in the house and he said, "Mary, since when do you use perfume?" (Umm!)

She said, "I didn't use perfume."

"But Mary..."

Now that happened only once in the 32 years I was there. I do not expect that to happen again for the simple reason that people have changed. But the Lord manifested His presence by means of fragrance. And here you have something like it. But He was gone. In the final analysis, we want more than the manifestation of His presence. We want Him.

So we'll turn to our last scripture of tonight in Revelation 3: "Behold I stand at the door, and knock." Now the Lord knocks in different ways. He may give you a song to awaken you. He may give you His Presence to awaken you. He may even knock that you hear the sound of the Lord walking. I've had that.

When lying on the bed, I've had two hands take hold of both of my shoulders like this (that happened only once), and pull me up into a sitting position, as real as real could be. It wasn't Wife. I was alone in the room. She was in another room. He pulled me out of a sleep, up into a sitting position, two hands. I do not know who it was, either the Lord or an angel. I do not know. The room was filled with His presence. It was 2:30, and I got up and sat up for the rest of the night. Wait a minute; I was up until 4:45. Then I got sleepy and said, "Lord, I'm getting so sleepy. Do you mind if I go back to bed?" I didn't wait for an answer. I went back and fell asleep.

At 5:15 sharp, I was awakened by someone walking past my bed, and as I awakened, I just saw the Lord pass the end of the bed in white glistening garments. They glistened. They showed a glisten. His garments made a rustling sound. As far as I know, it was the rustling of the sound of His garments that awakened me. I just saw Him at the end of the bed, walk right beyond it and was gone. Again there was that Presence. It was 5:15. I knew it was time to get up. I had a half an hour's sleep. It was just as real as real could be. It's in principal, it's the same as knocking by whatever means, whatever method He employs.

"Behold I stand at the door and knock; if any man (that means women too, of course-any person, anyone. This is open for all.) hear my voice, and open the door, (that is to say, respond, get up, responding to Him the way He wants you. Usually, it's getting out of bed.) and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me." In other words, "I'm going to do something for him." There is going to be a feast. There is going to be a communion, two ways. Shall we put it this way, "There is going to be a candle lighting ceremony."

How about it? "Behold I stand at the door and knock ." Let me say this, "All day long, this morning and evening, the Lord has been knocking through His Word (knock on pulpit) to light your candle." Enter into this communion with Him, this great treasure in the life of the Spirit. The very scripture I gave you in my comments. They were the Lord's knocking to you to respond to the truth, in practice, to apply it. Not merely say, "Uh ha, that was good, that was nice." No, but responding in practice, open the door. Not just look at the door, but enter the door. Open the door. "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."

And in the context of today's messages, I will lighten his candle. And may every one of us be able to say in our heart as David said, "Thou wilt light my candle; the Lord my God will enlighten my darkness."

That's all for now, so the Lord bless you. Goodnight.