(Written by Wade E. Taylor)
Walter Beuttler was a teacher in the Bible School that I attended. He personally knew and walked with the Lord as few have.
I saw the effect and the outworking of the very unusual personal relationship which he maintained with the Lord.
The Lord often visited the classroom as he taught, and revealed Himself and manifestly moved in the lives of the students who sat under his ministry. As a result, my life was both challenged and changed.
He often exhorted his students to cultivate a personal, experiential knowledge of the Lord. He used his unique spiritual walk and experiences with the Lord as a means to provoke us to begin seeking the Lord in earnest.
Through his ministry, two aspects of my spiritual life became very important. The first was my newfound understanding of the immeasurable benefit of spending quality time “waiting upon the Lord.” The second was my coming to know that it is possible to experience the “Manifest Presence” of the Lord. Through his ministry, these became a reality in my life.
A spiritual principle that Walter Beuttler imparted through his classroom teaching greatly affected my spiritual life, and became a foundational principle in my ministry. “If we build God a house of devotion, He will build us a house of ministry.” I can truly testify that this principle works.
Walter Beuttler traveled extensively in overseas ministry, teaching the principles of the “Manifest Presence of the Lord,” and “Divine Guidance,” until close to the time of his death in 1974.
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Here is a short story from a Pentecostal bible school in Pennsylvania that had this account of Walter’s visit to their school:
In memory of Walter Beuttler who went beyond seeking God for His blessings but sought God for Himself.
The student body of Western Pennsylvania Bible Institute was abuzz. Walter Beuttler was coming next week to speak to us. I had never heard Walter speak so I really didn’t know what to expect. I thought to myself though that he must be some speaker to have the older students so excited. There weren’t to many speakers they were excited about because they had heard so many.
The day finally arrived. The church was packed. Not only with students, but people had driven for miles to be at chapel that day. I thought to myself that this guy must be something to cause such excitement. What kind of preacher is he? Maybe he’s a jumping jack like one of my favorite preachers Jumping Jack Stewart? Perhaps his voice thunders like Jim Salvador when he gets excited in the Lord? Maybe he’s bouncy and funny like Mac McClure who I always loved to hear preach when I was a boy? Wonder if he plays the guitar and sings like Mike McCracken does? What’s special about this guy that’s causing such an excitement?
When Walter walked into the chapel with Hubert Bunney that day I thought to myself, “He’s an ordinary looking guy. Nice suit, shiny shoes, old. Wonder what the fuss is about?”
I looked toward the platform and noticed a desk and a swivel chair. I couldn’t remember ever seeing a desk and a chair on a platform before especially in a Pentecostal service.
We sang a bit. It was good but it seemed that we were somewhat distracted that morning. I realized what it was. Everyone who knew him was anxious to hear from Walter. Finally Brother Bunney introduced him and he slowly walked to the platform and sat down in the swivel chair. I thought to myself, “This is interesting. Never saw this before. The chandeliers are safe.”
He had us turn our Bibles to Acts 14:26-28 and began to tell us stories. Stories? I thought to myself. And the way he told them he wasn’t even that great of a storyteller. He spoke slowly with not a whole lot of variation in his voice. I scanned the church to see the reaction of others. Were they as disappointed as I was becoming? They didn’t seem to be. They listened very intently as if in anticipation. What were they expecting I thought? I decided to listen closer.
As I listened to him I began to hear something a little different then what I was used to. When he talked about Jesus he didn’t just pump out information about Him. He talked about Jesus as though he were his friend. This got my attention and I started to listen more intently. I realized that the stories were a little more than stories. They were stories about adventures that he’d had with his friend Jesus.
He traveled the world teaching about his friend. He told us that he usually traveled alone, but not alone, because of the companionship of the presence of God. I listened as he told of the time he and Jesus were flying over the Atlantic together on their way to London. They were having a good time when Jesus said to him, “I’ll meet you beside the pyramids Walter.” And then it seemed like the Lord took off. When Walter landed in London he bought a ticket to Egypt, arrived there, went to the pyramids and sat down. When he sat down he sensed the presence of his friend. Shortly an Egyptian businessman came and sat down beside them. Walter knew that he was the reason the Lord wanted to come to Egypt. It wasn’t long until Walter began talking to him about his friend and the Egyptian asked if the Lord would be his friend too. Walter told him that Jesus wanted to be his friend, introduced him to Jesus, then got back on a plane and resumed his trip. He and his friend.
Walter told us of several adventures that he’d had with his friend that day. I’ll never forget this one he told. When he arrived in Bangkok he discovered that his baggage had been lost. He decided to go to the motel and wait until he received a call saying that his baggage had arrived. No such call came so he decided to go back to the airport and go to the conveyor belt to check. Nothing. He’d pretty much reconciled himself to the fact that his baggage was lost and figured on buying replacements. As he turned to leave the conveyor belt suddenly he felt the presence of the Lord. It seemed to him that the Lord didn’t want to leave the conveyor belt. Walter thought to himself that if the Lord wanted to stay at the conveyor belt he should too. Walter began to appreciate the presence of his friend and began to worship him. He got caught up in worship when suddenly his luggage appeared on the belt. It had gotten mixed up with the luggage of another flight.
When Walter finished telling us stories about his friend that day he did an interesting thing. He slowly turned his back to the congregation. And just waited. I thought, I haven’t seen this before. No one moved. A holy hush took over. There was total silence for several moments when suddenly a woman stood crying. She began to confess sins to the whole church. I couldn’t believe it. Walter? He just continued to wait with his back to the congregation until she was finished. No sooner had she finished and someone else stood and began to confess their sins to the church. Person after person stood.
Eventually I stood as well. The presence of God was electrifying. It was serious. Compassionate. Loving. All that! When finally things quieted down again Walter Beuttler turned back to the congregation and thanked us for loving his friend and walked off the platform.”
Beuttler’s Teaching Notes