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A Rhema Word of the Spirit

Over the last few days, we have been looking at how we can be more open to the leading and empowering of the Holy Spirit in our lives. He is our Helper, or our advocate, the One called alongside us to assist us in walking through enemy-infested territory—the world we live in.

As well as the Holy Spirit being our Helper, He will guide us into all truth and give us a "Rhema" word of God in a tight situation. This kind of revelatory word is sometimes called a “word in season" (Proverbs 15:23) or an apt word right on time when needed. What is meant by a Rhema word? Two Greek words are translated into English as Word, Rhema and Logos. The Greek word Rhema means an utterance, a revelatory picture, a vision, or a timely word. It can be a portion of Scripture that "speaks" to the heart of a believer, something highly relevant to a current situation in a believer's life, or it can be a clear revelatory thought to take a particular course of action. It often has a “know-so” within the core of a person’s life. The other word, Logos, speaks of Scripture that is read and meditated on in the Bible. We need both.

Unless one can check out the Greek translation, we can’t perceive the intent of the writer’s distinction between the two words. For instance, Jesus said, "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word [rhema] that proceeds out of the mouth of God" (Matthew 4:4). In another place, Christ said, "The words [rhema] that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life" (John 6:63). The thought is that there are certain times and situations when God will breathe life into a passage from the Scriptures to meet a need. It could also be the leading of the Spirit to take a specific course of action. For instance, when Paul was hindered from preaching the word of God in Asia, he had a vision of a man of Macedonia inviting him to cross into Europe and preach in Macedonia (Acts 16:6-10). In Paul's case, it was a revelatory vision.

The Spirit of God may speak to you in a time of prayer, maybe with a simple phrase that pops into your mind, but it can also be words from the Scriptures or a song, etc. God can use many ways to speak a Rhema word to His people, just as He used many different illustrations and parables to communicate while He was with His disciples. A real revelation from God, a "Rhema" word, will never contradict, supersede, or go against the Scriptures. The Word of God and the Holy Spirit will always agree, as they are from the same source. If something comes from God, it will often have His accompanying peace.

In my opinion, we should be careful about giving directional words to young Christians, using the phrase, “This is what the Lord says,” because we can get impressions of the Spirit wrong. Even the prophet Samuel got it wrong when he thought Eliab was the chosen one of Jesse's sons (1 Samuel 16:6). New believers look up to those with more experience in walking with the Lord, so older Christians must be careful about their words and actions. We should not be junior Holy Spirit to others. Paul the apostle helps us here, “But he who prophesies speaks to men for their edification, encouragement, and comfort” (1 Corinthians 14:3). When it comes to giving words to others, it is wise to ask the Lord before we share it. Ask God if the word you share will edify, encourage, or comfort them, and limit yourself to those three. Yes, Paul does write that all may prophesy (1 Corinthians 14:31), but we are not all prophets. We can get things wrong, which is why Paul wrote to the Corinthian church that they should judge the prophetic word (1 Corinthians 14:29). When you come together, each of you has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation. Everything must be done so that the church may be built up (1 Corinthians 14:26). Keith Thomas.

This study is from the series On Fire With the Spirit and is called The Promised Holy Spirit.


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