"The Lord gives different people different experiences, as He deals with us differently. When I share certain things with you, they are not mere stories. If you listen carefully, you will learn how God works in me, and how He works, or desires to work in you...
If you will prayerfully follow, when I am finished, there ought to be in your spirit a deposit of truth beyond that which you have known. Also, there will be a fresh hunger for God, with a desire to better know Him. This will be the beginning of a dimension of experience in your life that you never thought existed...
I am about to share a subject that is very dear to the heart of God - Our personal knowledge of God. I will begin as the Lord began with me, quite some years ago, and gradually take you along. If you will open your mind and your spirit, I will share with you our innermost need.
Some years ago, while teaching at a Bible school, we lived in a cottage on the property. One afternoon I received something from the Spirit. It did not come in words, but a strong impression that the Lord wanted me to be alone, undisturbed, unobserved, undistracted.
There was no place that I knew, other than going to a hotel. I told Mrs. Beuttler, and I went to the Robert Morris Hotel in Philadelphia to shut myself in with God. I arrived there at 2 o’clock Friday afternoon for an indefinite period. At once, I started to seek the Lord. I knew that God, in some way, wanted to speak to me. I knew no more, except that I was to be alone, undisturbed, and undistracted, so that I could fully concentrate on Him.
I placed myself before the Lord in sheer faith. I would walk, sit, stand, even lie on the floor. It got to be past midnight. I had been there from 2 p.m. with the attitude of simply, “Father, here I am.” I did not storm the gates of heaven, as God is not that far away. I did no praying, I simply presented myself to the Lord. His was the next move, not mine. When I got too tired, after midnight, I lay across the bed and slept some. Way before sunrise I was up, presenting myself before the Lord.
Saturday, I was there all day long with nothing to eat, till past midnight. I was very tired again and lay across the bed for a few hours. Again, I was up before sunrise on Sunday morning, presenting myself before the Lord. I did not hear anything of any kind, but the understanding that God is in the secret place. We know this from Matthew 6:6. I knew that the Lord was observing, so I continued to wait.
I was there till 2 o’clock, Sunday afternoon. I had been there for 48 hours. In all that time, I received nothing, heard nothing, saw nothing, felt nothing, not even His presence. Everything was just empty and dead, and I said within my spirit, “It takes God a long time to speak.”
No sooner had I said this, that the Lord spoke deep within my inner being. This is where our spirit is, where the Holy Spirit indwells us. This is where we receive things from God. Deep within me, there were words that I heard, but not with my ears, but I heard words that said, “To hurry God is to find fault with Him.” In other words, I was impatient and expressed it.
I did not know why God did not answer my prayer. Most likely, He first wants us to get rid of any impatience. I understood at once that I was criticizing God for being slow, and I apologized and said, “Lord, forgive me. I am sorry I got so impatient.” I apologized to the Lord and asked for forgiveness, having been there for 48 hours without anything to eat.
Suddenly, the Lord walked through the door into the room. As He walked in, His presence followed after Him in the shape of the robe of a sovereign. Have you ever seen a picture of Queen Elizabeth, or another sovereign, with a royal regal robe following them, dragging on the floor as they walk up to a throne? This is how the presence of the Lord came in. It followed Him like the robe of a sovereign. The Lord came and stood to my left, just a few inches beyond the length of my arm. I was still sitting on the floor. As He stood there, His presence (the robe) spread out, and the robe shape disappeared and His presence went through the entire room. I am being very exact with my words, as He is listening.
His presence filled the room. I remember thinking, “Now, His presence is filling every cubic inch of this room.” And so it was. I believe that I had the same experience as Isaiah, when he said, “And his train (His presence) filled the temple” (Isaiah 6:1).
As His presence filled the room, the Lord began to speak, not audibly, but within my spirit. He gave me a Scripture from the Word. I was not striving; I was just awestruck, yet perfectly composed. It was from John 17:3, “That they might know Thee,” or I can enlarge on it, “This is life eternal, that they might know Thee.”
I looked it up and as I read it, I began to see something. I saw that Jesus was not speaking of information about God, although this is involved, but about a personal knowledge of God.
This is one fault that I find with our theological schools; most students graduate with much theology in their heads, and techniques for the ministry, yet greatly lacking in a personal, inward knowledge of a personal God. I trust that you understand.
We know a lot of things about the President, or we think that we do, but we do not know him. I think I could recognize him in a crowd, but I have no personal knowledge of the man, as there is no personal relationship between us. The Lord had so strongly impressed me with the need of a personal relationship to God: that God becomes to us as being real and personal, even more real than any other person.
The Lord stood there for four hours, from 2 o’clock to 6 o’clock, while He opened many Scriptures to me. I can rightfully claim that I received personal teaching from Jesus Christ for four solid hours on the subject of “Knowing God,” a subject that I have spread into countries the world over. Now I can look up a Scripture and it will open and reveal to me things that I never saw before.
As the Lord continued to open Scriptures to me, I made notations that I still have at home. After each one, I would get another Scripture, and then another, and another, and another for four solid hours, on being a friend of God. Most Christians do not have a personal relationship with the Lord, but there are those who have become a friend of God. He opened the Scriptures showing how to be an “intimate” of God, having an intimate relationship with the Lord in which He shares secrets. That is, secrets with some, that He does not share with nominal Christians.
We must qualify for this personal relationship with the Lord, but few do, as not everyone will respond or pay the price. But the possibility is always there. When the Lord finished, I noticed that it was 6 o’clock. Then He spoke again, and the words were, “And the Lord left him to try him.” With these words, the Lord turned around, and walked out, the same way that He came in. His presence collected from all over the room and changed back into the form of the robe of a sovereign, and followed Him out of the room, like dragging on the floor. Out He went with that regal robe behind Him, and He was gone.
I had received a personal visit from a personal Jesus, for four hours of private teaching. At the time I did not know that the Lord was getting me ready for overseas work. I had no idea of it, at that time.
He was gone, and there I sat with the word, “And the Lord left him to try him.” I was in the room till about 8 o’clock, wondering what kind of a test I was going to get. I did not have the faintest notion. I began to think, “Sometime this may happen, but I am going to go to bed, as I had not slept much.
I was starting to go to bed when someone else walked into my hotel room, right through the door, without opening it. I knew the identity of the visitor at once. His identity is described in the Bible as Satan. I was standing by the bed. It was a four-poster bed, and I stood by one of the posts. I was going to hang something on there and go to bed.
He walked in, and I kept standing where I was, but I was not scared. As he walked in, behind him there followed the satanic presence in the form of the robe of a sovereign, an exact duplicate of the Lord’s robe, but the presence was Satanic. He stood in exactly the same place as the Lord stood. As he stood, his robe also spread and diffused, losing its shape as a robe and went throughout the entire room, the same as the Lord’s presence.
I remember saying in my heart also, “Now the Satanic presence is filling every cubic inch of this room.” And so it was. He opened the conversation and said, “The Lord did not visit you.” I said out loud, with a little bit of defiance in it, “Yes, He did.” Back came the answer, “No, He did not.” Back went my retort, “Yes, He did.”
To the best of my recollection came, “This Bible is not the Word of God.” I said, “Yes, it is.” He said, “No, it is not.” “Yes, it is.” “Why don’t you deny this Bible?” he asked. “Why should I deny it, as it is the Word of God,” I said.
I had no measurement of time, as this lasted for quite awhile. At one point he said, “You are praying too much.” “No, I am not,” I answered. “You are going to lose your mind because of your religion.” “No, I am not.” “You are going to finish your life in an insane asylum.” “No, I am not.” “You are losing your mind already.” There were other things in between, that I do not recall.
When he said, “You are losing your mind already,” the entire room began to turn like a merry-go-round. It started slowly. I was not upset and I did not lose my balance. I knew right away what was happening. Everything turned. The bed went around, the dresser, the doors, the pictures, the whole room as it were, started to revolve with me at the center. It started slowly, then went faster and faster.
He said to me after awhile, “See what is happening, you are losing your mind.” I said, “I am not losing my mind. This is only your deception, and I do not believe it. Nothing is moving.” I knew that nothing was moving. Then he really put the heat on. I began to see things: trees in the room, mountains, rocks, squares, circles, triangles, men, women, nude scenes, all kinds of a confusing array of things. “See, you’re losing your mind. You have lost it already.”
“No, I have not lost it. My mind is all right. My God is real and this is His Book.” And so it went on. I do not recall how the first visit ended, but I took a stand all the way through, an affirmative stand. Once I said, “No, the Lord is only trying to test me to see if I will stand true to all that He showed me. He taught me for four hours, and now He is only letting you test me to see whether I will stand true, and I am standing. My God is real; the Lord is present; He hears you speak.” And I held my ground.
While I do not remember the precise moment we terminated, suddenly at some point, he turned; his presence collected from all over the room; changed into a regal robe; and out he went with the robe following behind, sliding on the floor, exactly the precise duplicate of the Lord - and he was gone.
I thought, “That was something!” I was never scared, but it was a real debate and case of holding to the Word and to the truth, and not be broken. I had the strangest feeling that he was coming back, that he was not finished. Some time went by and I thought, “Maybe that is all, so I will go to bed.”
Just as I was about to go to bed, in walks his majesty, Satan, with the same robe behind him, walking in firm steps, and stood in the same place, his presence going throughout the room. There we were in the same thing all over again, the second visit, which was a precise carbon copy of the first.
Everything that he said at first was now repeated with one difference. This time (I do not know for what reason), his words came with tremendous power that I cannot account for. There was power in his words, but I stood my ground the same as before. Then I noticed one thing: I was slowly wearing down. What concerned me was not so much that physically I was getting exhausted from the sheer combat, but what really worried me was that I noticed my will of resistance began to weaken.
On the first visit, my will was adamant and I stood my ground! I did again, but not in the same firmness, as my will was weakening. He seemed to attack my will. While I used the same or similar words, and all the confusion, all the merry-go-round, everything was there again, but with greater power. I cannot describe it. The power that flowed from that being was tremendous!
Inside, I was weakening, and I remember thinking, “If he does not stop soon, this time he is going to win.” He did not stop and bore down on me without mercy, “Now are you ready to give up?” “No, I am not,” I said. But in my words there was no longer that firm something. I knew it lacked the same quality of firmness, the decisiveness. I knew he was smart enough to discover it. He did, and took advantage of it. He hammered at me, “Are you ready to deny this Word?” “No, I am not,” I would answer.
“Are you ready to deny that the Lord visited you?” “No, I am not,” I said, but I was weakening. I could not help myself. My answers remained correct, but I no longer meant them with the same something. I remember thinking, “I cannot hold out much longer.” Whether he knew it or not, I do not know. Here I was with the room going around and him saying, “Now do you see yourself inside an insane asylum?”
“No, I am not seeing it at all, because I am not going to.” But there was a difference.
I got to the point where I was finished. After all, he is supernatural, and has power. I threw myself across the bed seemingly defeated. I said within myself, “I cannot resist any longer.” With these words, I threw myself on the bed apparently defeated.
There was a short interval for which I cannot give an account, but he was still here. Finally, while still lying on the bed, I began to feel the presence of the Spirit of God. It was about the size of an orange, a relatively small orange, so I paid no further attention to Satan, though I knew that he was there. My attention was now focused on what was happening within me. I felt the presence, and to my surprise or delight (I hardly know what word to use), that presence within me was singing. I realized that the Spirit of God was singing, and this attracted my attention. And the song was, “Isn’t He wonderful, wonderful, wonderful? Isn’t Jesus, my Lord wonderful?”
As the Spirit sang, that ball-like presence expanded and slowly rose up on the inside of me. As it expanded, I paid no more attention to Satan. I do not know what he was doing, as I was busy with this song, as I was lying on the bed. That presence came up strong, expanded, and reached the area of my throat, and I joined the Spirit, singing. We sang a duet for the benefit of his majesty, who was still in the room. This was something that I could not have done apart from the Spirit.
As we were singing, and got to the part, “Isn’t He wonder----, the Spirit interrupted and spoke a quotation from Isaiah 59:19, but a little different than it reads in our Bible, “When the enemy comes in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord shall raise an armed defense against him.”
Satan was trying to throw me, as he was afraid. He was so eager that this truth of the personal knowledge of God would not be inseminated throughout the whole world, that he came with his personal presence to stop me, before I ever got started. The Spirit came to my assistance and dispatched him.
This is how God began to meet me in this area of truth.
Now, I will take you into the truth itself; the truth in which God is so interested; but truth which Satan hates. He does not care how much theology we know, or if we can recite the entire “Encyclopedia Britannica.” He does care about our personal relationship to God, and he seeks to destroy it...."
- Walter Beuttler
From a sermon "The knowledge of God - part 1"