LOGOS AND RHEMA

logos-and-rhemaLOGOS AND RHEMA THE NATURE OF BIBLICAL PROPHECY

In its most broad meaning, prophecy is simply God communicating His thought and intents to mankind. When a true prophecy is given, the Holy Spirit inspires someone to communicate God’s pure and exact words to the individual or group for whom they are intended. It is delivered without any addition or subtractions by the one prophesying, including any applications or interpretations suggested by the one speaking. To be most effective, it must also be delivered in God’s timing and with the proper spirit or attitude.

The prophetic message is usually given vocally. But it may also be written down or acted out symbolically. Prophecy may come to a person as God speaks directly to him or the Lord may use another person to convey the message.

THE BIBLE AS A PROPHECY

In this sense the whole Bible can rightly be called prophecy that is God communicating His thoughts and intent to mankind. The entire Scripture is one inspired revelation of God’s mind will, and word communicated to man written on paper: “All Scriptures is given by inspiration of God…” (2 Tim.3:16). “For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man, but holy men of God spake as they were move by the Holy Spirit” (2 Pet.1:21, see also Deut. 6:32; Rev.1).

THE BIBLE IS GOD’S COMPLETE REVELATION TO MAN

Words were gathered into sixty-six books and comprise into the Scriptures, the word of God the Holy Bible. This prophetic word is thus complete. It is perfect, fully sufficient to bring all the revelation of God that we can comprehend and appropriate. No further prophetic communication from God is be added to it and none may be used to subtract from Bible. Any true prophetic word given today must therefore be in fully agreement with the Spirit and context the Bible.

If this is the case, then many will ask why we need prophecy at all in the twenty first century church. The answer to the question requires first of all that we understand the meaning of two important words from Biblical Greek.

logos-and-rhema-1LOGOS – RHEMA

Two Greek words in the New Testament are translated by the English term “word” Logos and Rhema. Greek scholars and Biblical theologians here debated about whether or not these words are synonymous, but many believe that the inspired writers chose each word to express a different meaning. The interpretation we present here is more consistent with those scholars who are walking in present truth.

When we use the word “LOGOS, “we refer to the Word {LOGOS} OF TRUTH,” The Scripture, the Holy Bible (2 Tim.2:15) St. John also speaks of the “Word” that was in the beginning, that was with God, that was God, and we made flesh and dwelt among us – none other than our Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus was the eternal Word revealed and manifest in mortal flesh (Jn. 1:1-14)

The Logos of God. This Logos Word is settling forever in Heaven. Earth and Heaven may pass away, but the WORD will never pass away. That part of Scripture which is a description of the Word personage, character, plan, and eternal purpose will never fail, for it is the very expression of God Himself. The Logos is the same as God: the same Yesterday, Today and Forever.

God’s Logos, is creative, self-fulfilling, powerful, true inerrant, infallible, complete, and life-giving. It is trust worthy and sure. Any seeming failure of inconsistency in it is due to our failure in understanding, believing, responding, obeying and seeking to fulfill that unfailing Word.

The Logos – God’s Eternal Standard. The Logos is the consistent, absolute standards by which all other expression, concepts, revelations, doctrines, preaching’s and prophesies are measured. The Logos reveals God and portrays His eternal principles and decrees. Neither angel, nor human, nor devil, nor any other power in the whole universe can keep the LOGOS from eternal being and becoming all it proclaims.

Rhema – Word. The Rhema; on the other hand, might be called “a word from the WORD.” W.E. vine’s expository Dictionary of New Testament words explains it this way: “Rhema denotes that which is spoken, what is uttered in speech and writing: in the Scripture, a word. The significance of Rhema (as distinct from Logos) is exemplified in the injunction to take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word (Rhema) of God” (Eph. 6:17). Here the reference is not the whole Bible as such, but to 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”

A Rhema, then is that timely, Holy Spirit – Inspired Word from the Logos that brings life, power and faith to perform and fulfill it: “faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word {Rhema} of God (Rom. 10:17). The Rhema must be revealed with faith by the hearer in order for it to be fulfilling its mission.

Logos Prophecy Vs. Rhema Prophecy. The Logos never changes nor fails, but the Bible is full of Rhemas given to individuals which failed to come to pass. Actually, however, in these case it was the Rhema of the Lord which failed, but rather the people who heard it failed to understand, interpret, believe, obey, respond, wait upon, or act upon it according to God’s will and way. This is the meaning of 1 Corinthians 13:8: “prophecies shall fail.” When God speaks directly or thought a prophet to a person or a nation, and they fail to respond appropriately, the prophecy may not come to pass.

To summarize: when we use the term “Logos,” we mean the Scriptures as a whole. When we use “Rhema,” we mean a specific word from the Lord that applies it to us individually. No true Rhema spoken by a present – day prophet will be in conflict with the Spirit and context of the Logos.

The Logos is like a well of water, and the Rhema is a bucket of water from the well. The Logos is like an entire piano, and the Rhema is one note sounding forth from it. The Logos is like the whole human body, and the Rhema is one of that body’s members performing a particular function. The Rhema is always dependent on Logos: the body can continue to survive without certain members, but no member can survive without the body.

We all must thank God for Logos, which is the standard of all the truth. But we should also be grateful for the Rhema, which provides the precise word needed for the specific situation. All Christians must live by Logos and receive the Rhema as needed.

Personal Prophecy Defined. Given this distinction between the Logos and Rhema, we can now define a personal prophecy. When we use this term, we mean God’s revelation of His thoughts and intents to a particular person, family or group of people. It is specific information coming from the mind of God for a specific situation, an inspired word direct to a certain audience.

Personal Prophecy and Rhema. In the broad sense, then, personal prophecy is a Rhema: God’s Word individually applied a word which is subordinate to the Logos. This more specific revelation of God’s will for our individual lives may come by many ways, A Rhema may come while reading Bible as God quickens a certain text, or it may come to us through the spoken words of another person. Much time occasionally Rhema’s are word from God to confirm He’s the one speaking.

Personal Prophecy Spoken – Rhema Inward Revelation. We will normally use the term personal prophecy. However, in a more narrow sense in order to distinguish between divine communication which comes straight to us from God and those which comes through another human vessel. Personal prophecy is what we will call an individual word coming to someone through another human being. Rhema is what we call a word communicated directly by God. This will help us avoid the misunderstanding that we are endorsing the rather dangerous practice of some people who give themselves “personal prophecies.”

Personal Work of Holy Spirit but not personal Prophecy. The Holy Spirit convicting an individual of sin, and wrong and regenerating that person is a personal, individual experience, yet it is the same work the Holy Spirit must do to make any sinner into a saint. In a similar way, the illuminating meaning of Scripture is a personal event. But in our use of term, these situations are Rhema rather than personal prophecy.

General Prophecy in The Bible. Much of the Bible is general prophecy: Scriptures which reveal God’s glory, nature and character; passages which gives instructions which are applicable to all mankind; prophetic utterances which deal with general conditions of the world and with the general degeneration of unregenerate man; prophecy about the restoration of the church and the end times; doctrine dealing with sin, repentance and faith.

Rhema Scriptures Give Truth by Illustration. At the same time, the Bible contains a number of personal prophecies which were given to individuals or group and are not universally valid. For example, God’s personal prophecy to Noah about building Ark is not instructions to anyone else (Gen. 8) God’s word to Abraham about killing Isaac and offering him a sacrifice is not directed to present – day Christians (Gen. 22) Jacob‘s prophetic words concerning each of his son’s descendants was specific to them (Gen. 49) and Hosea’s prophetic instructions to go marry harlot (Hosea 1:2) are certain not for us!

Rhema – Personal Prophecy Scriptures Must Not Be Applied Personally Today: the Bible, in fact, contains countless examples of how God gives personal prophecies to individuals and groups. Even a person with only a little instruction in Biblical interpretation knows that these specific instructions are not for everyone. Imagine if a young Christian read in the Bible that God told Isaiah to “walk naked and barefoot in Israel for three years,” and then proceeded to do that same in his own city. He might claim “God told me to do the same in his own city. He might claim, “God told me to do it it’s in the Bible; it’s the word of God!” buy no authority, religious or secular, would agree with him. In order to divide rightly the word of truth, then we must be able to distinguish between the Rhema of personal preaching in the Bible and the general word which is the eternal Logos for everyone.

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