Monday, November 14, 2016

HOW GOD SPEAKS

The current use of rhema to mean something revealed outside of scripture is ignorant at best and decidedly deceptive at worst.



But, some will say, “Doesn’t God still speak today?”
Yes.

Doesn’t He still speak to us individually?
Yes.

Is it always scripture?
No.

And neither is it always a rhema word.

“But, it’s quickened to my heart! It must be rhema!”
Groovy cool. I’m happy for you; but that’s not what makes it a rhema word.

Let’s revisit Vine’s Dictionary for the definition of rhema:
The significance of rhema (as distinct from logos) is exemplified in the injunction to take "the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God," Eph 6:17; here the reference is not to the whole Bible as such, but to the individual scripture which the Spirit brings to our remembrance for use in time of need, a prerequisite being the regular storing of the mind with Scripture. (emphasis added)
Scripture.

The words of the Bible.

That is what makes something the Lord gives you “in the moment” a rhema word.

HOW GOD SPEAKS

Let’s look at some of the ways God speaks to us individually as revealed in the Scriptures.
And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left. (Isa 30:21)
This is about guidance, the Lord leading you as you go. (There is too much in this particular verse to unpack at this time.)

Notice, that as you are walking, you will hear a word.

That is a NOW word. It is in the moment of need. It is current. It is the Lord directing your steps. (Pro. 3:6) It is logos.

The Hebrew word used here is the common one mentioned previously, which is dabar. The LXX translates this with logos.

If there were a special meaning of rhema being the “now word” that God speaks to me, don’t you think this would have been a good place to use it?
For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; (1Co 12:8)
This, too, is somewhat about guidance, though it may be used in other ways, as we shall see.

The word of wisdom and the word of knowledge are two separate and distinct gifts.

Unfortunately, we are not given any specific definition nor plain contextual information concerning these two gifts. So, it is left to the interpreter to try to come to an understanding of their meanings through just the simple meaning of the words themselves.

Knowledge is the accumulation of facts. Wisdom is the proper use of the facts. 

Knowledge will tell you that the little black animal with a white stripe on its back is a skunk. Knowledge will tell you that skunk can give off a distinctively unpleasant odor if threatened.

Wisdom will tell you to avoid that animal about which you have knowledge.

However, the “word of knowledge” is often thought to be that word which is given you in the moment concerning something about which you had no prior knowledge.

It is often used within charismatic church meetings in the form of prophecy.

For instance, in the last church I was in, the pastor came up during the service and “prophesied” over me. During those words, he noted that I was a teacher, which is true. He had no way of knowing that prior to the Lord revealing it to him.

In my experience, the word of knowledge works a little differently.
I was at a large gathering of believers for a city-wide evening of worship. I was sitting up in the nose-bleed section and noticed a young man down on the floor really involved in the worship.
I believe it was the Lord who pointed him out to me. I made my way down to the floor, was able to find him in the crowd, went up to him and said, “The Lord shows me that you have a problem in the groin area, and He wants to heal it if you will let me pray for you.”
Turned out it was true and he did, and He did.

That was a word of knowledge. I did not know him or anything about him. I lost sight of him as I made my way back to my seat, and never saw him again.

This sort of thing has happened many times in my walk with the Lord.

What about the word of wisdom?

Though we are not given a specific definition of this gift, we have many examples (too numerous to mention, actually) in the Bible of the gift in operation.

I will choose the most famous—Solomon and the baby. (1 Kings 3:16-28)

A word of wisdom was apparently given to Solomon so that he knew what to do to reveal the truth of the situation before him.

Now, in the two illustrations given, a word came “in the moment,” what we would call a “now word.”
For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; (1Co 12:8)
Both “word” of wisdom and “word” of knowledge are from the Greek word logos, and yet, they are both “now” words.

If there were a special meaning of rhema being the “now word” that God speaks to me, don’t you think this would have been a good place to use it?

Can we begin to admit that maybe rhema is not as powerful or special as we have been led to believe?

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