God-Sent Laborers
Walter Beuttler

"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." Luke 10:1

Notice something here by way of parenthesis. He sent them into "every city and place, whither he himself would come." In a sense, the missionaries are the Lord's forerunners. He wants to come to a place, and someone like John the Baptist, a missionary, prepares the way for the Lord to come into those lives. "Whither he himself would come." He's sending men and women ahead of Himself in preparation of His coming to them.

One year I received an invitation to come to Tokyo for a week with the Japanese pastors. They wrote and said, "Brother Beuttler, We would like you to come over for a week, if you can, and have a public debate with a Japanese philosopher. We'll rent an auditorium and have tickets printed and charge a fee for admission."

In case that surprises you, that is in accordance with Japanese psychology. One of the hardest things for Americans to learn is that Oriental people do not think the way Western people think. Our government has constant trouble with that. One reason is we're sending as ambassadors, another government's position, men who are political appointees. If they make a half million-dollar contribution to a Presidential election, they're going to be a US ambassador or something of the kind. That's one of our biggest problems in foreign policy, but Washington doesn't see it. The Oriental mind is programmed differently than the Western mind. They don't think of many things the way we think of them.

I'll give you an example. This is purely hypothetical. Incidentally, it gives insight into the problems missionaries have. Not only do they need to learn the language, which in some cases isn't too difficult. In other cases, it's very difficult. One of the main problems is the learning not only of their culture, but their way of thinking.

Hypothetical speaking, let's say I'm a businessman and this brother is a businessman. He's Japanese and I'm an American. We want to have a talk to see whether we could do business with each other. I as an American might say, "Well sir, I think our interests run parallel." What the American means is that our interests are so much alike that we can get together and get somewhere.

To the Japanese it means the opposite. To the Japanese it means we cannot do business together because parallel lines never meet, therefore we can never come together. There's no use carrying on the discussion. "Goodbye sir." So he breaks the thing off. He was just told he couldn't get together because we're parallels, and parallels don't meet. They think different, and their thinking is surprising.

In Tokyo I was riding in the missionary's car someplace. I think we went to a huge, mammoth Buddhist temple. You see Buddhism enjoys a revival in Japan. We saw a man, a motorcycle man; lie in a pool of blood on the street of cobblestone. The man tried to get up and fell back into his blood. People stood around and watched it with their thoughts.

I said, "Why doesn't somebody help the man? Why don't we?"

The missionary said, "We can't because according to Japanese thinking, if you touch this man to help him, it's equivalent to being responsible for him." If you help him you are saying, "I am responsible for all your injuries," and you pay the doctor bills and the hospital bills. If the man is a cripple, you have to take him to your house and support him for the rest of your life because you touched him and tried to help him while he was lying in his blood. Only the authorities can come and take him to the hospital. That's strange thinking to us.

Back to Tokyo. They wanted to sell tickets and said, "You and this philosopher debate the existence of God." Someone said to write me.

I wrote back, " Brethren, you are over rating my capabilities. In the first place, I do not have the educational background for anything of that kind of an undertaking. In the second place, that's not my ministry, and I don't think Jesus Himself would accept your offer." I suggested somebody else that I thought could take the philosopher on. I'm not good for that. I said, "But, if you would like me to share with you what God has shared with me, I'll be glad to come over."

They wrote back and said, "Brother Beuttler, We're changing our program to suit you. We're asking you to come over." So I went over for a week. During the seminar we had at the Bible School in the suburb of Tokyo, there was such a move of the Spirit of God, such a touch, that one missionary said, "Brother Beuttler, We had asked you to bring to us what we didn't need." They had suggested that I use and pay attention to the philosophies of Slymaucher and Bruden. Japanese are strongly pro-German. Slymaucher and Bruden are German, and they thought I should read up on that because Japanese have such a great respect for these German philosophers.

She said, "What we thought we needed was some more philosophies. Now we have found out that what we needed was the Lord and His Presence." The result was that I went back the next year. "Whither he himself should come ."

In fact, I'll tell you more. This lady said, "We were trying to persuade the Japanese to accept Jesus Christ on the basis of a philosophical persuasion." Well, that has never worked and never will work. It was never intended to work. She said, "Now we find what we need is the Lord and His Presence." I don't know what the others said, but she said, "I've burned all my philosophy books and am going back to the Bible to try and win the Japanese. They're not easy to win." "Whither he himself should come." All right, that was parenthesis.

"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 10:2

I'm very well aware that many a missionary has used this passage. I'm not classifying myself as a missionary. I'm merely saying that many a missionary has used this and many of you have heard it many times. Then why use it again? For the simple reason because "It is still written." The need today is just as true as it ever was.

I want to touch principally on two things:

1) On the need and

2) 2) On our prayer participation in meeting this need.

After all, this is a missionary convention. Of necessity I'll be covering ground that is quite familiar to you. Some of it might be somewhat new to quite a few of you, not new in itself, but simply because our attention has not been drawn to it.

The harvest truly is great. What we have here, obviously and logically, is the vastness of the need. I hope you will understand me aright in what I'm going to say. You recognize that different men have a different ministry assigned to them by God, therefore a different vision, a different burden, a different approach, and to some extent a different message.

I know my calling. The Lord literally gave me a call in our chapel in Bible school to overseas teaching. We had a revival in 1951. I told you I was put in charge. On Friday night we had a tremendous indescribable move of the Spirit. Some of the fellows were beginning to get out of line and I knew they would ruin the meeting if they didn't come back into line. I was getting anxious, edgy about it. I was aware of the danger of touching it. I was aware of the danger of not doing so. So I gave these fellows mistakenly a rebuke. When I did, the entire meeting went dead. The move of the Spirit stopped like this. I did it, though unintentionally, but I knew what they were going to do, likewise unintentionally. The meeting died dead. I knew I killed it. I knew the meeting could not be saved, so because we had very late meetings every night, I dismissed the students and told them to go to their rooms and go to sleep.

That night at 2:30 the Lord awakened me. Now what I'm telling you here is absolutely accurate. I was awakened by a man's voice singing in my room, an audible masculine voice. It woke me up. I heard it. The sound awakened me. The Lord stood by the window, full size, dressed in white, His robes going down to the floor. He was looking my way singing two stanzas of a song I never heard before nor since. When He finished with the second stanza, He wasn't there. He was gone. The first stanza had to do with sin and forgiveness. The second stanza had to do with grace and glory. There was a strong Presence in the room, though He had left, that is Him standing there. I knew it was time to get up. It was 2:30.

I sat before the Lord perhaps 2 hours or so delighting myself in His Presence when I noticed that I pushed away the first stanza on sin and forgiveness and sort of reveled in the second stanza of grace and glory. That was more pleasant you see. When I recognized that I pushed the first stanza away, I became somewhat apprehensive. I sensed something was wrong. I said, " Lord, is anything wrong?"

At once two words stood in front of me about this high, "Uzzah's error." Uzzah was the man who touched the ark in the Old Testament and died. I knew the Lord was saying thereby that I committed the error of Uzzah by touching the ark of God in the Friday night service. I touched the Presence in a carnal spirit at provocation at these fellows and killed the meeting. So that's what was wrong.

I said, " Lord, I didn't mean to, but I did." I asked His forgiveness and said, "Lord, what can I do?"

I got the answer at once, "On Sunday morning during the communion service, I want you to stand up and make a public confession to the students for having ruined the meeting and ask for their forgiveness."

I squirmed and said, "Lord, that's hard. What will the students think of me?" That made no difference to the Lord.

Sunday morning we were giving out the bread. My heart started to pound. I thought it was going to jump out of my body. It pounded like everything. I knew that was the signal. I stood up and said, "Students, I have a confession to make ."

You could have heard a pin drop. I could hear them think, "Brother Beuttler! What could that be?"

I told the whole thing what happened. I didn't color it and dress it up a bit or put a halo around it. I laid it on the line. I said, "I want you to forgive me for having killed the meeting."

Hardly were my words out when a student jumped to his feet and gave a prophetic utterance with such power as I have rarely heard, and said, " Because thou hast done this thing and hast humbled thyself before this congregation, therefore the Lord thy God will raise thee up and set thee upon a hill and cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth ." There was more to it, but I'm purposefully leaving some things out.

When I heard that, and it was obviously directed toward me, I knelt down and wept. I went to pieces. As I wept, I was hardly on my knees, the Lord spoke in an inner voice that I heard saying, "Go and teach all nations." That was in 1951. I've been in world travel ever since. It's a long story, but I cut it off here.

There is a vast need throughout all the earth, speaking now from my vantage point, for Bible teaching. Others will speak from other angles, the salvation of all these people. That's all true. Only my work is teaching so I give the teaching accent. Another man gives his accent. By the time every man and woman with their respective calling gives their accent, we have together the symphony of the Great Commission. Each one playing a part, but only "A" part, but through the many becoming a part of the whole.

So if you don't mind, accept my vantage point. I can't explain. It all takes time. If you don't understand now, I don't think you will. The tremendous need for the teaching of the knowledge of God, the true knowledge of God, the experiential - that is to say the knowledge of God in the sense of a personal experience with the Lord.

I won't repeat here what I told you before of how the Lord walked into a hotel room after 48 hours of fasting and prayer, and stood to my left for 4 solid hours teaching me out of His Word the subject I was to take throughout all the earth, "That they might know thee."

I cannot describe for I do not have the words, I cannot describe to you the vast openings and demands for Bible teaching, not the academic type of a teaching, na, na, na, na. That is what they need the least of all. That is neither what they need nor want, but an interpreting of God to bring people into an experiential, personal knowledge of God. Like God said to Jeremiah, "I will give them an heart to know me."

There is an understanding of the mind, which is absolutely essential for which should lead to an understanding, a knowledge of God in the heart. We can know a lot about a certain person. We can be plentifully supplied with accurate information without knowing that person. The people all over the world need more than mere information about God, through they need that - absolutely. But they need more than information. They need to be brought, through the Spirit, into a personal knowledge of God in their hearts. If a young man (I say young because they have the future ahead of them.), or a young woman has that type of a personal knowledge of God, a message from God, there is no limit to the open doors throughout all the world.

When I left Northeast Bible Institute a year ago, I forgot now the number, but I had something like 5 Bible schools, some from overseas, write and ask whether I would join their faculty. Over and over again overseas I was asked, "Brother Beuttler, could you stay? Could you come back? Could you join us?" The school in New Zealand asks every year.

The reason I say that is there is a vast opportunity for the right kind of teaching that people need, that interprets God to them, that solves their problems as they sit in the pews. They can say after, "My! I heard from God." They want to hear more than some opinion by a commentator. They want to know instinctively within them that God has spoken. The harvest for teaching is vast. As far as I'm concerned, it has no boundaries.

I was down in Australia some years ago for a week in Melbourne. The brother there asked whether I could come back for a week for a camp meeting at Christmas time. That's their camp meeting time. Christmas Day to New Year's Day is camp meeting time down there in Australia.

I said, "Well, we have school vacation. It's our Christmas vacation. I could come, but Melbourne is a long ways from Green Lane."

He said, " I know you're thinking about the fare."

I said, "It's half way around the world. I have to think about it."

He said, "Brother Beuttler, if I ask you to come, we're going to pay your fare. How much is it?"

I said, "I don't know exactly, but it's about $1,450 round trip."

He said, "Are you coming?"

I said, "It's quite a ways." I didn't want to ask for anything. I don't ask. The day I have to beg, that's the day I'm staying home.

He said, "Look, if I ask you to come we'll pay your fare."

I said, "All right I'll be there."

That was for one week. The Lord so moved that he said at the end of the camp, "Could you come back again next year?"

I said, "Yes Brother Greenwood, but it costs just as much next year as this year."

He said, "Didn't I tell you, if I asked you, I'll pay your fare?" And would you believe it, I went down there 4 years in a row for one week only, Christmas Day to New Year's Day. Each time they paid $1,450 for the fare and stuck $200 in my pocket for the bother of coming down there.

What I'm saying with that is this: There is such a vast opportunity and desire for the teaching of the Word of God. The A/G in Australia has asked me whether I would come to Australia and go from one end of the country to the other visiting every one of their assemblies with teaching. I couldn't do it. I don't have that much time.

There is such a desire, and yet you have preachers, "Open the door Lord, open the door, open the door, open the door, open the door, open the door." If you've got the goods, the doors will open. You get the goods, but the goods don't come from some places where a lot of people are looking for it. I'll tell you where they do come. When we seek doors, wait upon God in fasting and prayer until we can say, "And the heavens were opened, and I saw visions of God." When we have a personal encounter with God like you have in the case of Samuel, "And the Lord revealed himself unto Samuel by the word of the Lord." After God spoke to Samuel by the word of the Lord, Samuel spoke to the people, and the people got the word of God.

God is looking for men and women through whom He can speak, and after having spoken to them, He wants to speak through them. The harvest truly is great, but the laborers, God's kind of laborers, are few. The real messengers, men and women with a message from God, are not found in the bargain basement of the Five and Dime. There is a shortage of laborers, God's kind of laborers. A little later I'll share with you what kind.

Oh! I wish I could put into your hearts the opportunities for those prepared that are unbelievable. Honestly, really honestly. If I were a free man, and gave all my time to overseas teaching unhindered by physical limitations and the encroaching of the years, I could not fill these open doors that are open today for Bible teaching. I have very few years left for this, of necessity. Here is where you come in. "Pray ye therefore, that the Lord will send forth laborers." Oh! How we need God-sent men and women, not the self-sent. That won't do, but God-sent. That's where you come in. What praying are we doing to the Lord of the harvest that He will send?

I say this, and I've said it to Bible school students for years, "Students, unless you are sent by Him, you're not sent. You might go, but you're not sent ." I am a believer, and increasingly so, in Christ-centered ministry by Christ-called and Christ-equipped ministers. That's the kind of laborers, which God needs. And that's the kind of laborers for which we should engage and think of sending.

I am not a minister of the Assemblies of God. You can say, "Well, you're a minister under the Assemblies of God."

"No, I'm not."

"Don't you carry credential with them?"

My answer is, " I do." There are too many ministers of the Assemblies of God. Now you have to get me right when you digest this statement. I believe I can say, "I am a minister of Jesus Christ." And then I would add, "In association with the Assemblies of God." But I'm not a minister of the Assemblies. I'm a minister of Him. That ought to be true in every case. It's one thing to be a minister of an organization. It's another to be a minister of Him. I appreciate my fellowship with the Assemblies, but I'm not their minister, I'm His minister. I'm in association with it, accredited by it, but I'm His minister, accredited by Him above all other accreditations. These kind of laborers need to be built, so to speak, on the foundation of Jesus Christ Himself. That's the laborers for which we need to pray in our missionary endeavor.

"Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? Behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest." John 4:35

Here we have the urgency of the hour. You might say, "Oh, I've heard missionaries preach on that 50 years ago!" It was true then. It is still true today. It will remain to be true until the church is complete.

Jesus said in John 9:4, "The night cometh, when no man can work." The idea here is limited opportunity. You say, " Well, of course the night comes." But the opportunity we miss today may not be the opportunity tomorrow. Opportunities come; opportunities go in the years, the decades. There is no time for procrastination. You get the idea.

"The people pressed upon him to hear the word of God." Luke 5:1

Here I would say, "Oh the hunger of many of these people overseas for the Word!" They have a hunger pain. In modern countries you have it very difficult to get a convert. I used to go to Algeria. The church was in French, but only a very thin sprinkling of Muslims. There was a church along the coast for Muslims only. This is only a guess, but let's say there were 75 people there. But they only came to be prayed for because the missionary there had quite a healing ministry. They came to be prayed for. Very, very few ever got saved. There was no intention to change their religion. But other areas have a tremendous hunger.

That reminds me of a meeting in Italy. They had only a cave dug into the soft limestone or sandstone. They took out all the seats before I got there. That hole was jammed with people standing. When I arrived they got a big, husky Italian man who used his elbows like this to move the people back and shoved them. It was the only way they could make a path for me to get to the pulpit. When I got up there, they right away pressed in and I was literally wedged in standing, a solid mass of people so wedged in I had trouble breathing. They were so hungry for the Word of God.

At a convention in Rouen, France, largely with the ministers, but others could come during the day. I spoke for 2 hours and 10 minutes in one clip. I couldn't do that today. I was so exhausted I could speak no more. I turned to the leader and said, "Brother, I have to stop."

He said, "Brother Beuttler, back there is a room with a cot. You lie down for any length of time you want. When you are ready to continue, come out and we'll be here." I would say I lay down for about 10 minutes roughly. I came out and here was this large audience. I say large - it was in the 600-700 area as a rough estimate. If anybody had left, it was not apparent. There we were in a morning meeting. After 2 hours and 10 minutes, the people were still there hungry to hear the Word of God. Look for that in America and see where you would find it. "The people pressed upon him to hear the word of God."

"Pray ye therefore that the Lord will send forth laborers." What kind of laborers? I'll try to give you only the essential points or you'll be so weary you'll do what they warned me of in one church on a Sunday morning - it's true, literally. I got started speaking about 11:35 a.m. The pastor said, "Brother Beuttler, be sure you stop at 12:00 o'clock on the dot. If you don't, this congregation will get up and walk out on you." He said they would do it. They had done it before. I don't want that to happen here!

"And he goeth up into a mountain, and calleth unto him whom he would; and they came unto him." Mark 3:13

In Luke you will find that Jesus prayed all night about the selection of the 12 disciples. What we're after is "He called unto Him whom He would." In other words, the laborers which God needs, and the laborers we need to pray for are laborers who were called by Him.

Notice the statement, "whom he would." Individuals are called in sovereignty. It's surprising whom God calls into the ministry. I speak now of Bible school. We had some kids down there. You wonder whatever talked them into Bible school. They were characters: unkempt, unshaven, uncouth, dirty too, and that was before we had the cult of sloppy dress, (Laughter) a cult which certainly doesn't bring any honor to God.

"Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin... Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed (or clothed) like one of these...if God so clothe the grass (so beautifully)...how much more will he clothe you, O ye of little faith?" Matthew 6:28-30

If God made the lilies more beautiful than Solomon's glory, how much more will He clothe you? The cult of sloppy dress is a reproach to the heavenly Father. It's a negation of His character. It is a disgrace of the Father's token. Many a father and mother are ashamed when they are in the shopping center with their teenage kids. What a mess they look. How much more is the heavenly Father ashamed at the way some of His children look as though they came from some alley and dragged their clothes (if that's what you call them) out of some kind of garbage bag. What a reflection on the character of the heavenly Father!

But I have seen some of these youngsters in school transformed in a most remarkable way. "He called unto Him whom He would." Here you see divine selection, saved by divine sovereignty - Christ-called laborers.

"And when they were alone, he expounded all things to his disciples." Mark 4:34

These men were Christ-taught. Now I believe in Bible school, but I've said to many a class, "If the Lord doesn't teach you what I teach you, you're still not taught." There has to be the illumination, the quickening, the opening of the understanding by the Spirit of God.

I was up one morning early around 2:30 sitting before the Lord and there was a Presence that I could feel. It was a Presence I couldn't understand. I knew it was the Lord's Presence, the Presence of the Spirit, but it had a strange feel to it, and I simply didn't recognize it. I remember saying in a low tone, "Lord, what kind of a Spirit is this?"

He gave me an answer, " It is the Teaching Spirit." Then I knew. The Spirit took I Corinthians 12, 13 and 14 for a period of time morning after morning, early, and opened up these chapters giving insight on the Holy Spirit. Those chapters are in the notes on The Holy Spirit. I saw things I never saw before in all three chapters.

"When they were alone, he expounded all things unto them." The Lord needs men and women who takes time with Him alone, sitting in His Presence with His Word and allow Him to open their understanding of the Word of God.

"And Jesus said unto them, Come ye after me, and I will make you to become fishers of men." Mark 1:17

God needs men and women who are God-made - made by the Lord. That is to say, a transformation is wrought in their lives.

I came from Germany in 1927 and went to Bible school after awhile. Of all things the matron put me to washing dishes, but I wouldn't wash dishes. I said, "Miss Sunder, I'm not washing dishes. I'm German."

She said, "That doesn't make any difference. You're washing dishes, young man."

I said, "I'm not washing dishes. That's a woman's job." In Germany a man wouldn't think of shining his own shoes or washing dishes. The wife or the kids do that, but not the man. I cannot speak for today, but that's the way it was then.

She said, " Young man, you're going to do dishes until you like them." And I could tell from her face that I would be well advised not to say another word and I didn't, but I can think what I like.

I thought, "Like fun I will ." I went up to my room angry and said, "If Pentecostal people believe that men should wash dishes, I'm in the wrong religion. If Bible schools believe that their students should wash dishes, I'm in the wrong school." And I packed my bags and quit. I walked out in a huff, so angry that I didn't even say goodbye. I was through. I had had it. Wash dishes! Whew! A man! I was around 20 years old.

I knew there was a Pentecostal meeting going on that morning and I thought, "I'll go to one more meeting." I sat right in the middle about the third row. A message in tongues was given that went through me like a knife and I slunked down in my seat.

Then came the interpretation given by a very quiet Englishman. He shouted at the top of his voice, "Rebellious man, rebellious man ," and I got a stinging rebuke from the Spirit. I knew it meant me. He continued with, "Submit thyself to the mighty hand of God and I will do thus and so." I realized for the first time of all things, a woman's hand was God's hand on me - and I was supposed to submit myself to a woman. Now that's not my attitude, but that's the way it was then.

That night I went back to school. The next morning I showed up washing dishes. Nobody ever said a word. I was gone a whole day. I can't explain it. The matron didn't say, "Why weren't you washing dishes?" The teachers didn't say, "Why weren't you in class." Nobody said a word.

I thought, " I didn't say goodbye, why say hello and give myself away." (Laughter)

After 4 weeks, she came back to change my duty. I said, "Oh Miss Sunder, don't change my duty. I like to wash dishes. " She was right. I did dishes until I liked them, and I still can help my good wife.

The idea is this. There was something in this fellow, among other things, that needed to be transformed. In the final analysis, whether it's a she minister or a he minister, they have to be made by Him. A work, a change, a transformation is wrought within in the path of obedience and submission. "Follow me" - that's submission, that's obedience. " And I will make you." The Lord of the harvest needs Christ-made ministers.

"Then he called his twelve disciples together, and gave them power and authority over all devils, and to cure diseases." Luke 9:1

Now I'm not going into this aspect. I'm merely pointing out a principle. These men who were called by Christ were also equipped by Christ. God needs laborers called to their specialty work, but also being equipped by Him for their work. He does the equipping. Christ-equipped laborers, God-given ministries is what it takes. Going back to Luke 10:

"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." Luke 10:1

They were sent by Him. I have talked to you here very briefly, because each one of these points would merit a whole hour, about a need that we have before us on the mission field. It is a far greater need than in the days of the Lord because of the multiplication of the human race, an astronomical figure.

Here we are to pray, "Pray ye therefore." In the final analysis, the foreign missions department doesn't send missionaries. They are instrumental in being used by God. They are the mechanics, but behind all these mechanics, there is to be a sending that can only come from God.

" Pray ye therefore that the Lord will send laborers," laborers who are called by Him, taught by Him, made by Him, equipped by Him and sent by Him. Pray ye therefore that the Lord will find and send such laborers into the harvest, for the harvest is great, greater today than in the days of the Lord, but the laborers are still few.

Here is where your part of the Great Commission comes into play. Like I said the other night, "Whom shall I send and who will go? " To this we could add, "Who will pray?" Who will pray that they may go into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature? That's your segment of the Great Commission. God bless and prosper His Word in your hearts.