Call For True Laborers
Walter Beuttler

I asked if they were going to tape me. I call these things snoopers, so I'll have to be careful what I say because they have you on record. That's all right. I don't think it would make too much difference anyway, but I do like to know when I'm taped so I know what the FBI has on me. Well I see Sister Shoal is still coming by her special plane over here. That's real nice. I always thought of that plane as Sister Shoal's. She comes by jet or something. (Church is located near military base with plane parked out front) It's all right Sister Shoal. We're old friends. It's nice to see you.

Now this is my last visit with you before going overseas. Two weeks from Tuesday, I'm scheduled to leave for ministry in France for a national convention. Then I go to West Africa at the Bible school with Bible school students and national pastors. Down in the country of Ivory Coast in Abidjan, they are going to rent the Convention Hall for the occasion for Sunday. They're bringing together ministers of different denominations for a Sunday. During the week I'll be at the Bible school.

Then in Indonesia I'm with the missionaries for a week, with the national pastors for another week. Then Australia and back to Africa returning according to my current schedule on August 13, so it will be awhile before I see you again if nothing happens. I trust you will remember us in your prayers, Wife too, the girls and myself. That's the way it goes year after year. It's going to be a hard journey.

Would you like to know what my ticket cost, 75 cents? Don't look so worried. I'm not asking you for it! (Laughter) I'm only trying to tell you how great a God we've got. That's what I'm after really. It's $2,145. There's no problem. This Assembly has been a steady supporter. Mrs. Shoal has always been a Beuttler booster. So for a number of years now you folk have really stood by me very faithfully with your monthly offering that you send to Springfield and have continued to do so to the present day. I appreciate it very much and want to thank you. So the Lord bless you and keep me on your heart during the summer.

Now of all things, the Lord laid upon my heart somewhat of a missionary message. I had wondered why, but I have learned to leave the wonderment to Him. You never know who is here, a young person even a child. You never know. We only know one thing. I know it anyhow, and that is God knows what He's doing so I make no apologies. I'll just go down the area of truth, and even though it's basically a missionary message, you can gather quite a few things from it whether you're interested in missionary work or not. I am, of course. That's my life.

Most of you know that I'm leaving the school. This coming week is my last week of teaching. In the fall I'll be going out to meetings in different churches in weekend ministry. Then come January, Mrs. Beuttler and I expect to go to the South Pacific. On route we take in Hawaii and Samoa, especially New Zealand, Australia, an open-ended tour of ministry with a one-way ticket and keep meandering along as God leads. There appears to be quite a bit of work still left ahead. As I said before, I sure appreciate your prayers and interest. And Sister Shoal, I'm still grateful to the Lord for you and all the interest you have shown down through the years in this type of work. You're one of the outstanding helps that I've had over the years.

"After these things the Lord appointed other seventy also, and sent them two and two before his face into every city and place, whither he himself would come. Therefore said he unto them, The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few; pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth laborers into his harvest." Luke 10:1-2

The Lord appointed other seventy also. Now here I want to touch on the area of a divine appointment. God appoints people for specific work. Now all of us have some kind of an appointment. In fact, every person in the world, saved or unsaved, has an appointment from God. Did you know that? Even the unsaved people have a divine appointment. It says, "It is appointed unto man once to die, and after that the judgment." Everybody has an appointment, which is an appointment with death. We have an appointment to stand before God in the judgment. We are appointed to be saved, of course, but today I feel more particularly about specialized appointments. Did you notice what the scripture says, "Therefore said he unto them, The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few; pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth laborers into his harvest."

I'm currently very burdened for the work for this summer, the work of teaching. The Lord is addressing all His people to take an interest in missionary work. Here particularly we are to pray because the laborers are few. Now the tourist are many, but the laborers are few. I have always held to this conviction and I told you that once before when I made reference to this passage. In the final analysis, the One who sends laborers into the world's harvest fields is the Lord. God gives divine appointments. All of us are to pray that the Lord would send forth more laborers.

As I said this is a missionary message this morning, all of us have a part in this missionary work. One part that we can play, and should play, is to be engaged in prayer not only for those who already have their appointments and are on the field, but we are to pray that more will make themselves available to work in the Lord's harvest field. That doesn't mean, of course, that necessarily such will have to go overseas as I do. The Lord said, "The field is the world." Johnsville is also part of this field. So it doesn't simply mean Lord send forth laborers to Africa, but to send forth laborers into the harvest field.

It's talking about the harvest truly is great, the laborers are few; pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest that he would send forth laborers into his harvest. Elsewhere the Lord said, "The field is the world," and Jonesville and Lansdale and Kalamazoo and all these towns around here are part of His field. We are to pray that God will send forth laborers.

I like to share with you about this divine appointment in Acts:

"Now there were in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers; as Barnabas and Simeon that was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen, which had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them. And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away. So they, being sent forth by the Holy Ghost, departed unto Seleucia; and from thence they sailed to Cyprus." Acts 13:1-4

Now notice something. Here you have the working together between these men that were ministering unto the Lord and the individuals which God, in His providence, had already appointed. They ministered unto the Lord in fasting and prayer. Now today people don't believe much in fasting. They do believe in feasting and I will say that eating a lobster is far more pleasant to the flesh than spending a time of fasting and prayer. But the fact still remains that the church needs to engage in fasting from time to time. That is all through the New Testament time and time again.

These ministered to the Lord in fasting and prayer. Apparently they had in mind what we would call today, the mission field. From all appearance in the chapter, they were aware of certain places that were in great need of the gospel, someone needed to be sent and they looked to the Lord to discover who was to go. Then the Spirit of God spoke. I rather think that it came through a prophetic utterance: "Separate me Barnabas and Saul unto the work whereunto I have called them."

There is a blending here between human activity of ministering unto the Lord in fasting and prayer and the appointment which God had made concerning these men. Notice in II Timothy 1:11, "Whereunto I am appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles." There are those who hold several appointments at the same time. The thought of appointment is having been set aside, appointed to a specific task.

Yesterday Wife and I were on Long Island. We were visiting her Mother who is past 92. She is in the hospital, very feeble, too weak to be moved home according to the doctor. She's a good Christian woman all the way through, but one thing she never could get, never could understand my going overseas. That has always been a sore point with her. I think that's what it would be called. With her faint voice yesterday she said, "Are you going to Europe again?"

Wife said, " Yes, he's going to Europe, Africa, and Australia."

She faintly said, "Isn't there enough work to do right here?"

Sure there is enough work to do, but see the poor soul doesn't understand, but when God gives you an appointment to go there, or there or there, you can't say, "Isn't there enough work to do right here?" We're under an appointment and human rationalization doesn't necessarily coincide with a divine appointment.

I'm appointed to go overseas. There isn't any question. I'm moving in the will of God, and God selects different individuals to do different kinds of work in His vineyard because He is the Lord of the harvest. Not only does God appoint, but God un-appoints. That's a Beuttlerism. I see some folk here who I haven't seen before, but this is a Beuttlerism, a word that I have to make up on my own. And I often think of that. Let's see how God un-appoints, cancels appointments, if you prefer. We have our tasks, whatever they are.

"Lift not up your horn on high; speak not with a stiff neck. For promotion cometh neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south. But God is the judge; he putteth down one, and setteth up another." Psalm 75:5-7

"Lift not up your horn on high," that is to say, don't get to bragging. God is sovereign. He appoints and He un-appoints.

Many years ago now, the Lord very providentially appointed me pastor of a certain assembly. I gave you the full story, but that was long ago. There was another man in the picture who really had been selected by the church. When I got there to help out, they thought I should be the pastor. Some of you might remember the story.

The Chairman said, "The people think you should be the pastor, but they already chose another pastor. What can we do?" I said nothing.

But the brother said, "Well, let's pray."

I thought, "I have nothing to pray about. When he comes, I leave." We knelt down and he did the praying.

The Lord spoke right in here (stomach) in a voice, "Behold I have set before thee an open door and no man can shut it." I knew that I had an appointment from God, and nobody was going to be able to un-appoint me. And so it was. God appoints, He un-appoints.

In Acts 1:20 concerning Judas who sold the Lord it says, and his bishopric let another take. That bishopric means his overseer-ship. The appointment of Judas was un-appointed by the very same one who had appointed him because Judas sold his master for 30 pieces of silver.

If you recall, God un-appointed King Saul. God had appointed him in response to the people's wishes, but later on Saul became independent of God. He refused to bend his will to the will of God. Saul was self-assertive, bent on having his own way. One day God said these fateful words through Samuel: "It repented me that I have made Saul king. Behold the Lord has sought him a man after his own heart." Think of it!

God had chosen Saul to be king over Israel, but Saul wanted his own way. Later on God regretted what He did, "It repented me that I have made Saul king." Isn't that awful? When God has appointed a person, that that person would so disappoint God that God says, "I am sorry. I'm going to look for somebody else." That is terrible.

Referring to the same incident in Acts 13:22, the term "found" is used. I'm not reading the scripture for time's sake. There it says, "The Lord found...a man after mine own heart." In Samuel it says, "The Lord sought him a man after his own heart." In Acts it says that the Lord found him. So God actually seeks individuals whom He can appoint, and God finds them.

As for the need, I want to be a little brief here. We have the mission field in mind and the reason why we need to pray. Folkses, you will find as you take an interest in missions, and I'm not speaking here now from any financial point of view at all. I'm speaking here from the standpoint of prayer, of looking to God definitely to send forth the right kind of laborers, the laborers He really needs. There are many who are not really adequately equipped by God for the work that God needs to be done.

You see the church is repeating a historic mistake. Do you remember when David wanted to fight Goliath? Saul said to David, whom Saul called a stripling, that he couldn't fight Goliath. Saul took his own armor, his coat of mail, his spear, his sword, his shield and put it on David. Now Saul was a big warrior. David was a little shepherd boy and I can just about see that little boy stumbling around with this heavy coat of mail and heavy spear and what have you.

The church is doing the same thing today. It has always done it, except here and there. The church today is doing everything in its power, spending time, effort and oodles of money to put Saul's armor on God's little Davids - if you can understand my language. The church and our theological schools today are spending every effort to put Saul's armor, the equipment of the world, on God's little Davids. After God's little Davids have been fully equipped with the equipment of the world to fight the Lord's battles, they finally have to come to the place to say, "I can't use it," and lay aside their huge spear and coat of mail and go back to their sling shots and faith in God to kill the giants. That's right.

"Where there is no vision, the people perish." Proverbs 29:18

This is why we need to pray for laborers who are God-equipped to do the work. I hope you can follow me. It's one thing to be equipped with the wisdom of this world, but it's another thing to be equipped with the equipment of God, " Where there is no vision, the people perish." The idea here is: where there is no revelation, where there is no message from God that ministers to the needs of the people, those people perish.

In the Word, there are at least three aspects to this vision as used here. Ezekiel had a vision, and it says in Ezekiel 1:1: "The heavens were opened, and I saw visions of God." Now the workers that we need to pray for God to raise up, are workers that know what it is to have an open heaven, not just an open encyclopedia, but an open heaven. That is the paramount need. "The heavens were opened, and I saw visions of God." "Pray ye therefore that the Lord will send forth laborers" who know what it is to have an open heaven, who know what it is to have a personal encounter with God, a personal revelation of God. That is the kind of laborer needed.

The same word vision is used in Ezekiel 11:25: "Then I spake unto them of the captivity all the things that the Lord had showed me." I have to tell our students at school that if you will go and share with the people what God has shared with you, doing it with simplicity of words and with the anointing of the Spirit, there will be no lack of open doors for everywhere the people are hungry to hear from God.

In I Samuel 3:1 it says: " In those days there was no open vision." That is to say that the people at that time did not hear from God. There was no prophet, there was no messenger, there was no laborer with a message from God. An open vision means there was no public revelation of God. The people were in need, but they did not hear from God because God did not have a human instrumentality though which He could express Himself, through which He could speak. And so it is today in many areas, the great need of such laborers through whom God can say what He wants to say to the people.

God needs people through whom He can articulate His words. Samuel came along and in the last part of the chapter says, " The Lord revealed himself again in Shiloh." The reason was that in Samuel, God had found a boy that ministered unto the Lord, a boy who gave God his ear. You see, that's the problem. We give ear to everything else, but this boy Samuel gave God his ear. The Lord visited him at night and Samuel said, "Speak Lord for thy servant heareth."

Solomon prayed, "Give thou thy servant a hearing ear." I don't think God is looking for great preachers or preacheresses. God is looking for people who will give Him their ear. That's the message in Hosea. I think 15 times in that book, God says, HEAR. In Hosea God is spending every effort to reach man's ears, but they stopped their ears. They didn't want to hear. The laborers that God needs so desperately today all over the world is not great orators, not men of eloquence, not necessarily highly learned men. God is going about seeking someone who will lend God his or her ear. That may not sound like much, but folk, that's a lot.

If God can get our ear, He has something. In Samuel, God found a young man, a boy who said, Speak Lord, for thy servant heareth. Think of it! Samuel said, " I will listen." God today would say, "Who is going to listen?" As I said, God is still trying in so many ways to get to our ear.

When we pray that God will send forth laborers, He needs laborers who will give Him their ear - not necessarily theologians. God has more theologians than He knows what to do with. He doesn't have enough people who will say, "Speak Lord, for thy servant heareth, anything You say Lord, for thy servant heareth. "

Notice the term servant. That implies submission. It implies willingness to do what the servant hears. "Speak Lord, for thy servant, I'm here to serve You. You speak and I'll tell them what You speak. I'll listen, I'll perform for You," and God spoke.

God shared with this little boy Samuel a secret. Do you know God shares secrets? "He revealeth his secrets unto his servants the prophets." I think it's Psalm 24, " The secret of the Lord is with them that fear him." In Samuel's case, God shared with this boy Samuel a secret of what He was going to do with this backslidden priest Eli.

"Pray ye that God will send forth laborers," the right kind of laborers, men and women who will give God their ear. We're told in Samuel that God spoke into the ear of Samuel, "Tomorrow about this time, I will send thee a man. You are to anoint him king over my people ." Think of it! God spoke into the ear of Samuel, "Tomorrow I will send thee a man." God wants our ear. These kind of laborers need to be laborers who give God their ear.

In Lamentations 2:9, it says something like, Her prophets also find no vision from the Lord. This is a complaint here. Israel's prophets were so interested in things in which God had no interest, just like the church today. The church today is interested in many things in which God has no interest at all. Of these prophets it is said, "They found no vision from the Lord." In other words, they couldn't get a message. They even were seeking a message, but could not find a message. They hadn't given God their ears. They were in the pursuit of things in which God didn't care, and when it came to prophesy, they couldn't get it. They couldn't find it. Think of it!

When the ministry ceases to get a real message from God, they turn to sermons. They go to the library, and nothing against the library. Then they go here and there to pick something up and put it together. If it lacks the anointing, they make a big noise about it, but that isn't a vision. A vision is basically a message, a revelation, a communication from God to be passed on to God's people at the time God wants it to be passed on.

That's the kind of laborers that are needed, not photographers. Why do you say photographers? It's because they are running all over the world with half a dozen cameras and do very little preaching, or effective preaching. That's right.

Remember I said to you earlier from Samuel, " The Lord sought him a man after his own heart." Do you know that's pathetic? It doesn't say, The Lord appointed him a man after his own heart, although He did that. But it says, "The Lord sought him." Why is the word sought used? Obviously the kind of a man God needed is so hard to find.

You have the same in John with true worshipers. "They that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth, for the Lord seeketh such." What is God seeking worshipers for, real worshipers who worship him in spirit and in truth? I'd say it's because they are hard to find.

Can you picture God looking around among men seeing thousands of men in Israel and looking them over? "No, no, no, unha. Where am I going to look? O there's a little shepherd boy who will be after My own heart."

Folk, God is still seeking, seeking for the right kind of men and women, instruments through whom He can convey His message. The church is asked to pray that God will undertake for this need and send forth laborers. In Psalm 14:2, we find a seeking God:

"The Lord looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God." Psalm 14:2

Understand what? God is looking down from heaven to see if anybody would understand the desire of the heart of God for men to seek Him. Look at the seeking God in Ezekiel:

"And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me in the land, that I should not destroy it, but I found none." Ezekiel 22:30

I feel sorry for God going around seeking somebody that He needs. Apparently He has real difficulty. Well, He does. " I sought for a man among them, that should stand in the gap, but I found none." Isn't that pathetic? God seeking a man to stand in the gap, but can't find one. I don't know how long I'll be traveling anymore. I keep going as long as I can. That's my intention. But there will be a day when I have gotten my last passport, my last visa and my last ticket for my last trip. Who is going to take my place? Who is going to stand in the gap? All of us is going to leave a gap. I'll leave a gap someday. I'm 68 and I'm not going to live forever. There's going to be a gap. I don't know when.

Well God looks around to find somebody to stand in other people's places like the torch the Greeks used to use in their races. A man will run as fast as he can carrying the torch. He has to reach a certain point. He arrives there out of breath and exhausted, ready to drop, and he hands the torch to somebody else. That somebody else takes the torch and keeps running and running. At a given point another man is waiting for him. Out of breath and ready to drop, he'll hand that torch to the other man, and the man takes off. God is looking for men to take other men's places. That's one activity. We need to pray.

"And he saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no intercessor." Isaiah 59:16

God is looking for intercessors. That is open to all of us.

I was on a flight from Nice, France to Rome, Italy one very early morning in miserable weather. I got a spirit of intercession on that early morning flight. We were over the clouds and I was waiting for the sun to come up because that's quite a sight. That can be a riot of red as far as the eye can see. I got a spirit of intercession and said, "Lord, why is it that I have to spend so much time in intercession while traveling?"

And the Lord answered me and said, "Because there are so few to share the burdens." Apparently because there are so few willing to give themselves to intercessory prayer, God has to take the burdens and put more of them on the few because the many cannot be bothered. God's kingdom needs intercessors in the Holy Ghost. God wondered why there was no intercessor.

"I looked, and there was none to help; and I wondered that there was none to uphold." Isaiah 63:5

Look at that! God is looking for somebody to help in the interests of His kingdom, to uphold the work of God by whatever means or methods. An individual can do that. Lastly in Isaiah, God raises a question:

"Whom shall I send, and who will go for us." Isaiah 6:8

The Lord gave me some insight into that some time back. You have here the Trinity engaged in a committee meeting. Take a close look sometime. I think the Father was the Chairman. They were discussing the need of finding a man for the work that needed to be done. Apparently They had a problem, for One of Them said (I think the Father), "Whom shall I send, and who will go for us."

I can picture Him shrugging His shoulder and saying, "Whom shall I send? Who is there who will go for us?" In other words, who will go in Our interest, who will perform Our will, who will build up Our kingdom, who will seek to perform Our pleasure? That was the problem. The secret lies in the OUR. Who will go for us rather than for themselves?

Isaiah was allowed to overhear the divine dilemma, as you know. Isaiah stood there and personally I think he must have raised his hand when he overheard God's problem and said, "Here am I, send me."

So we're dealing here with the matter of laborers. "Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest that he will send forth laborers into the harvest field." Any takers this morning? Anyone who will give their ear to God? Any who will say, "Here am I, Lord. I'll go in Your interests?" God is seeking true laborers to go into His harvest field to do His work His way.