Dear List Members,
The thread that evolved in our discussion ‘Barometers Of Sonship’ is logos versus rhema. This sensitive subject is now out on the floor and deserves more discussion (and understanding). I will share a bit of testimony that slants my view more toward rhema (God’s spoken word) than the written word as my ultimate source of ‘hearing God.’
The written word often confirms what God has spoken to me, but seldom is the primary source of my hearing. It is my solid belief that God desires to communicate with His people in a one-on-one intimate relationship. “His sheep hear His voice…” I believe He speaks to me, gives me specific direction, correction, and sometimes encouragement, and most often in environments in which a Bible is not present. This, I think, was Chris’ point and I do not disagree with what she wrote, nor do I think she is cultish in writing what she wrote.
We are often bound by our own traditions, which circumvent God’s ability to speak with us. There are those in the Body who have branded me heretical for daring to say that I do not get all of my guidance from the Bible per se. The Bible has been and continues to be a great source of God’s direction, influence, and correction. I often hear His voice from the written word; but, as the years have gone by I now hear more from the voice of the Spirit (often confirmed by the written word) than from simply reading the Bible (Romans 8:14).
WOF teachers have left little room for hearing any other way than reading the Bible. We have been taught for years that this was ‘THE WAY’ to hear God. Much other error has stemmed from these teachings to include finding scripture that fits your need, claiming it, speaking it over and over, thereby causing it to manifest. Those who travel this road are likely light years away from really ‘hearing God’s voice.’
My faith comes by hearing God’s spoken Word To me. I can only have faith for what I have heard God say (to me), and yes it can come through reading the Bible, but the facts are I often need to hear God during the day when I am not reading my Bible.
“The letter of the law kills, but the Spirit gives life.” I have tried to live by the letter with little knowledge of what God’s voice sounded like. It wasn’t until I found myself in crisis that I realized most of the WOF teachings were not bringing me deliverance. I read, and read, and read, and read, and quoted, and quoted, and quoted…still, no deliverance!
When I finally gave up, I heard His still small voice speaking ever so gently with direction that brought salvation. I became ‘hooked on hearing’ and that was many years ago. I now have much testimony that confirms (at least to me) that God does and will speak to us outside of the written word.
In His Service,
COMMENTS – January 28, 2006
Dear List Members,
No subject seems to evoke more passion amongst Christians than discussions of rhema versus logos. Two camps readily line up opposite each other on the issue; both hardily expressing their point of view. It has been clear for sometime where I stand and I make no apologies for it; however, I think the thing we all agree upon is the Bible is foundational to our growth in learning to be led of the Spirit. It is often the confirming aspect of ‘having heard God.’ My problem is that much of the Church is stuck on the Bible being the only way to hear God.
WOF folks taught us that the Bible was our source for everything and perhaps without meaning to do so, taught to seek the Bible more than seeking God. I have my own testimony with this and know the price paid to learn that God indeed wanted a personal relationship with me in which He was free to communicate with me, and I with Him. No man can convince me differently! Often those who rail the hardest against this are the ones least likely to hear His voice. One’s overcoming testimony (Revelation 12:11) presents the most valid case. You can argue doctrine until you are blue in the face, but you cannot argue testimony. In short, when one hears and obeys what he has heard, a testimony will soon follow (Romans 8:14).
The written word without rhema IS LAW. I challange anyone to try to obey all of it – it will kill you plain and simple! However, the key to understanding this discussion, in my opinion, is to understand where various individuals are with respect to their walk. To seriously understand where the Bible fits into a life is to discern where one is with respect to his or her walk. Foundations must be completed before a house can be built.
As you read these latest correspondences, read them in light of the above paragraph.
Hello Brother Clay, I have read your E mail and agree with it because it was God`s still small voice that caused me to be a success at my job. I had no clue or experience at all concerning the Job I was taking. It was God`s still small voice that I heard from to teach me to do the job I was given. In less than a year I had turned the situation around and made it a success with the help of the voice of my Father, experienced men could not accomplish this in 5 years. My marriage came from hearing that still small voice and it has been as wonderful as it could be and God has proven his hand it because of the fruit it is bearing and will continue to bear in the lives of our children and those around us, with healings, growth spiritually, and answered prayer. Mountains have moved and all glory goes to God. It has all come from hearing God`s voice. God`s written word has brought change and life to this once beaten and broken man. Meditating on this word according to Joshua 1: 8 has changed my life and made me a better man. I am no longer the disgusting human being I once was. As Romans 12:1-2 state I have been transformed to be more like Christ and I am not there yet and must continue the consume the word which John 1 says is Jesus, to be more like Him and walk according to the character of Jesus. I have gone from poverty to prosperity in all areas of my life because of The word of God. I have also been persecuted for talking about, teaching, and expressing what I heard God say. I have lost friends and family members because of what I have heard God say or show me. I have learned things from His word that aren`t there when you look at His word but as Holy Spirit begins to teach you the word comes to life. I desire to be led and hear his voice more and more on a daily basis. I have desire to move when He moves and have my heart beat in the Rhythm of His heartbeat and my Pastor and church are the same way. My pastor graduated from Rhema but is not locked in to it but seeks Gods voice for himself and doesn`t lock in solely on the word and that’s why I appreciate him. I too have depended on God`s word to me to go to this church and leave the one I was in. They heard God speak all the time and what they said didn`t line up with the Word of God. False prophecy came forth and only a handful of us could determine that, sin was abundant not just in the congregation but in leadership as well. Young teens who were pastors granddaughter kneeling between the legs of her boyfriend in full view of the church and no one confronted the situation and many other things. This man insisted he was hearing from God. We need to have both equally God`s spoken word for direction in daily life and revelation of His written word. We need the written word equally to bring us to a place we can hear his voice and as a barometer that we are truly hearing the voice of God. There are many who have talked to God or angels and have started there own religions based on what they heard God say. I responded because it was my letter you have responded to. I am not angry nor offended. I may not have totally understood what Chris`s letter was saying but I read I couple of times and heard it the same way each time. I understand the importance of hearing God`s voice to lead you daily but I also Understand the equal importance of His Word With Love in Christ Joe
I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all long suffering and teaching. For the time will come when they will not endure [to hold oneself up against] sound [ to be un-corrupt ] doctrine [ teaching ] , but according to their own desires [ lusts] ,because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth [God’s word ], and be turned aside to fables [fiction or myths ]. II Timothy 4 : 1- 4 The apostle Paul warned that there would be a time when the body of Christ would turn away from the word of God and be led astray. Today in the church anything goes: fiction, spiritism, eastern religion, yoga, karate and magic. If the foundation is not sound and thats exactly what Paul is warning us about, the whole structure [ the church ] will be un-stable, and so it is, in most cases a quivering bowl of jello at best. The church is a spiritual building designed to contain the very presence of God, if there are cracks in the foundation it greatly hinders the work of service and the administration of Holy Spirit. [ Remember Holy Spirit is a person not a thing, He is God and we should address Him as such. ] In the gospel of John 1 : 1 it says: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The Word of God is the very foundation of our Christian faith, Jesus Christ being the cornerstone. As the scripture states: Jesus, the Word became flesh and dwelt among us. The cornerstone of the Word of God is the most important part of the church, without it, like a ship without a rudder she would soon go off course. Sheep must be fed to grow and be healthy and God doesn’t call us sheep because we are overly intelligent. Sheep will follow anything, even a jackass ,and I am sorry to say many today are in fact following the wrong leadership. To ensure that the church is firmly planted on a solid foundation the leadership must be rooted and grounded in the Word of God, not the traditions and teachings of men. Without the Word of God in our heart we could never be led effectively by Holy Spirit. According to Psalms 119:105 the Word of God is a lamp to our feet and a light to our path, without it we would walk in darkness. Unless we follow the pattern that the Lord Jesus gave us we will never be the powerful church of the last days that everyone is longing for. If men would lay down their agendas and kingdoms of flesh that they have constructed and begin to work on the building up of the body of Christ, then maybe we can get on with the business at hand, being His body on the earth. Amen? As newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby. I Peter 2: 2. Your servant in Christ, Tim Laughlin
From Strongs Concordance: 3056 = Logos; from 3004; something said (including the thought); by implication a topic (subject of discourse), also reasoning (the mental faculty) or motives; by extension a computation; specifically (with the article in John) the Divine Expression (i.e. Christ): – account, cause, communication, x concerning, doctrine, fame, x have to do, intent, matter, mouth, preaching, question, reason, + reckon, remove, say (-ing), shew, x speaker, speech, talk, thing, + none of these things move me, tidings, treatise, utterance, word, work. 4487 = Rhema; from 4483; an utterance (individually, collectively, or specifically); by implication a matter or topic (especially of narration, command or dispute); with a negative naught whatever: – + evil, + nothing, saying, word. If you don’t have a Concordance, get one. It will open your eyes and help you truly discern what the Bible is saying. If you do have a Concordance, look up “word,words” and you’ll quickly discover some things. For example, Romans 10:17 – “faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God”, a beautiful verse, is not Logos, but Rhema. Clearly, the passage is talking about an uttterance from God in order for faith to come. I can only speak from my experience, which may not be a factual representation, but I have connected with men and women of God from all over the USA, and I am amazed at how many have not heard God speak to them. When I use the word “speak”, that could mean an audible voice (which I’ve never heard), or an interjection of the voice of God into my mind where I know what I’m hearing is coming from the Holy Spirit and not from myself. Often, God is commanding or instructing me to do something. Every time, without exception, that I have obeyed His voice, whatever command or instruction given to me came about when I followed through on it. Unfortunately, I have not had the same results when I “hear” only from the Bible. It’s been hit or miss, but mostly miss, and the misses have had much negative consequences. In my heart, I have settled this Logos versus Rhema issue based on results. Rhema has never, never, never failed to bring about fruitful results. I believe that God first and foremost wants a relationship with us, which is why we need to be born again – getting our spirit joined with the Holy Spirit. It just makes no sense whatsoever, that this new relationship with God would consist of reading His instruction book. A relationship in human dimensions is based upon interaction on many levels, the primary one being speech. I do not see it any different with God. Can you imagine a husband and wife speaking to one another through letters on a page? What kind of relationship would that be? Many of the 1st century Christians could not read or write. Their relationship with God and walk with God was predicated on their ability to hear His voice. Paul wrote his letters because he was unable to see the brethren in person. Are they valuable to us? Absolutely, but the point I’m trying to make is the Bible came about as men recorded their relationship and what God said and did. The written text is given for a record. It is not the basis for relationship. God has not changed, maybe we have.
Stoughton, WI 53589
COMMENTS – January 30, 2006
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My Dear brother Clay,
This I believe is the most important message the body of Christ can ever get. Yes the letter kills but the Spirit gives life. It is the life of Christ, when He speaks, His Word gives us life continually. His Word always comes from His heart, and is His intent and purpose for our lives, not mans. I would rather hear one word from Him than a thousand from any man. The Lord showed me years ago as I had my head stuck in the book, or Bible, that the letter kills, but as I was being taught by the wof teachers at that time, the word works, I believed it would. I did not know at that time that unless the Word and the Spirit agree, there was no power of God at work. it was the letter of the law I was studying to show myself approved as I had been taught. I did not know back then that unless the breath, or Spirit of God breathed on the Logos, that it was a dead word; don’t forget I was being taught different at that time.
I was sitting at my table and I was under so much condemnation, as this is what the word of faith teachers had taught me, and the letter of the word was choking the life out of me, AND THEN ALONG CAME MY JESUS and He started to teach me via the Holy Ghost. He showed me that I needed to get in His presence and get my head out of the Bible, (some wanted to tar and feather me for that when I told them) but I did and I started to worship Him in song and just love Him, and then He started to speak to me. I have heard the Rhema from Him that way ever since, that was forty years ago, and today when He speaks I listen and I don’t listen when I know He is not speaking to me, as I refuse to fill my ears or my eyes with garbage, which is the vain traditions of men that have made the word, or Rhema of God of none effect.
If it is not coming forth by the power of the anointing, I do not want to hear it. If it is not by might, nor by power, but by His Holy Spirit then I do not want to even know about it. I believe the difference between religion and Rhema is Jesus Christ, or logos and Rhema. It is the anointing that destroys the yoke, which is the power of God in the personnage of Jesus Christ, who is the Anointed Word, who is the Rhema, I believe the Rhema is not a word perse, but is a person called Jesus Christ.
Great discussion, keep up the good work; the Father is well pleased, as His life is being returned to His people, via THE WORD OF GOD, which is the Rhema. Glory to His name forever, be blessed in Christ, Marie Stewart