'Rhema word' Spiritual Intimidation technique?

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Have you ever questioned anyone's bizaar teachings and then heard the old "you 'aint got the rhema word on it" line? It seems like calling a bizaar interpretation a 'rhema word' is a way a preacher can deflect having to be accountable for a text.

I asked one visitor who preached a sermon at our church one time about his teaching that Satan didn't have any more power than any normal man. He said I didn't have the 'rhema word' on the passage.

'Rhema' is not used in the Greek Bible to specifically designate words spoken directly from God as a revelation to a human spirit. The distinction between 'logos' as general, unrevealed Bible, and 'rhema' as a revelation of what scripture means just does not come from the meanings of the Greek words. Ask anyone who really knows Greek. Some think that 'rhema' is greater than 'logos.' But Christ is called 'Logos' in the Bible! The Logos is the express image of God's person.

If someone claims that an allegorical interpretation of scripture is 'rhema' shouldn't we judge what he says as a prophecy? It's not a true hermenutical interpretation of scripture, so his words should be open to testing and proving by the congregation. Those who teach bizaar interpretations, call them rhemas, and then won't be accountable for their teachigns are dangerous.

Unfortunately, many follow those who claim to get rhemas blindly.

Has anyone ever been 'spiritually intimidated' by a leader or visiting speaker calling their own word a 'rhema?'

-- Link Hudson (hudson@indosat.net.id), August 26, 2001


The Rhema/Logos I am talking about is the WOF teaching that 'logos' just refers to the written word, while a 'rhema' is a special revelation of the written word to your spirit. I might not have the wording of the WOF view right, but that seems to be the teaching.

I started looking up instances of the use of 'logos' and 'rhema' in the Strong's concordance, and found that there were instances of 'direct revelation' that used 'logos'- like 'word of knowledge.'

Another thing that bothers me is that some WOF preachers talk about something being 'just logos. You haven't got the rhema yet.' Like rhema is better than logos. Well, this is bad becuase JESUS is the Logos. If Jesus, the ultimate Revelation of God to man is 'Logos' then how could Logos be inferior to anything.

I also learned a little bit about pre-Christian and contemporary with Christian Jewish use of the term 'logos'- like Philo's usage, and how the word 'Logos' was used to communicate Christ to the philosophical crowd who could appreciate the concept of the universe being created through the Logos of God.

In additon to that, some people who have studied Greek ahve told me that the artificial distinction that WOF teachers have used to define the different between logos and rhema just isn't true in the Greek. I emailed a retired Greek and Latin professor who had impressive credentials as a scholar in the secular field of classical languages. He was an elder in a Messianic synagogue the last I heard. Anyway, he said that the WOF distinction between 'logos' and 'rhema' doesn't accurately depict the differences between the two words. A lot of people who study Greek say the words are nearly synomymns. So, repeatedly, those who study Greek that comment on the subject say the rhema-logos distioncting that we hear from the pulpit isn't accurate.

btw, some other things we hear about Greek from preachers isn't really accurate. 'Agape' wasn't just used for the 'God kind of love.' If you think about it, then it doesn't make sense. Greek was used predominantly by pagans. Why would they ahve a special word in their language for the true love of God? The word was used to refer to God's love, but it didn't mean specifically 'the God kind of love.' In the Septuigint- a Greek translation of the Hebrew OT used in Jesus' day, and qutoed in the NT- it says that Amnon 'agape'd his sister Tamar before he raped her. The NT says that Demas left Paul because he 'agape'd this present world.

-- Link Hudson (hudson@indosat.net.id), October 07, 2001.

At the heart of wof teachings are gnostic traits. Rhema or esoteric (exclusive hidden knowledge) teachings are the mark of all false teachers past and present. The Gospel's unchanging message and "revelation" of Jesus as the Christ and the only source of salvation and life. Conflicts with the wof message that exalts man according to so-called new revelations, manifestations and so-called knowledge (gnosis) that reject the power of the “Cross” and “the resurrected Lord's living presence” within the community of love and faith. Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. (II TIMOTHY 3:5 KJV) The gnostic “love waxed cold” wof is drunk on the brew of culture staggering without Divine revelation. Approaching the Lord’s Divinity and commandments as relative and optional. Instead they prioritize doctrines and desires for “material prosperity” and “self-centered blessings” instead of the Lord's revelation and presence. Hearts returning to Egypt worshiping strange gods and embracing unscriptural perspectives.

-- RRL (RamblinRRL@aol.com), September 03, 2001.

While some WOF teachers may have teachings with gnostic overtones, I wouldn't consider all WOF Christians, or even WOF teachers to be gnostics, or non-Christians.

-- Link Hudson (Linkh@bigfoot.com), September 04, 2001.

Link, thanks for inviting me to this. Of course I will have to defend the WOF movement and speak up to lovingly disagree with you. My friend, where did you get this info that rhema does not mean that in the Greek? Here is straight from Strong's, from crosswalk.com. The definition for the greek word rhema, is:

that which is or has been uttered by the living voice, thing spoken, word a. any sound produced by the voice and having definite meaning b. speech, discourse 1. what one has said c. a series of words joined together into a sentence (a declaration of one's mind made in words) 1. an utterance 2. a saying of any sort as a message, a narrative 1c d. concerning some occurrence 2. subject matter of speech, thing spoken of a. so far forth as it is a matter of narration b. so far as it is a matter of command c. a matter of dispute, case at law

Yes, there is a difference between the written word of god and the revealed word of god, and/or the spoken word of God. The written word of god is not revealed to those who are unbelievers. That is why they can pick it up, read the scripture, and walk away without understadning and without salvation. Anyone who has dealt with atheists knows this.

When God reveals Scripture to someone, they have the decision or choice to accept it or not.

Now, on the other hand, I understand where you are coming from b/c anyone can just stand up and say they have rhema about something that is not biblical. That I don't agree with. Hope this helps!

-- Benjy (b_oliver_1@yahoo.com), October 06, 2001.

Here is a great online article that deals with this topic. Someone a while back gave 10 reasons to reject the WOF movement. This is a response to her. It is the written response to her very first objection.


-- Benjy (b_oliver_1@yahoo.com), October 06, 2001.

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