I was taught a long time ago, that there was a difference between the Greek words Logos and Rhema, both translate ‘word‘. I don’t know if that is a regular Christian teaching or if it had to do because at the time our pastor was being influenced by the ‘New Apostolic Reformation (NAR)’ teachers. But we were taught that:
- Rhema meant a “fresh spoken/living” word, & Logos meant “written” word.
Many years later to my surprise, I found while studying the Word of God, that in the Greek New Testament the word rhema (G4487) & the word logos (G3056) , are used interchangeably/ synonymously and there is no difference between logos and rhema at all, BOTH of them mean SPOKEN word! Also found that most Greek scholars, state that the apostles or New Testament writers (under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit) made no such distinction between these two terms in their writings.
Rhema, G4487= A word, an utterance (individually, collectively or specially), that which is or has been uttered by the living voice, thing spoken. (Found in the New Testament a total of 70 times)
Logos, G3056 = A word, divine utterance, uttered by a living voice, the act of speaking. (Found 330 times). Logos is from the root of the Greek verb “to speak” G3004.
All these teachers that came out from the ‘Latter Rain Movement’ (e.g. Kenneth Hagin Sr. founded “Rhema Bible Training Center”) use the above distinction between rhema=spoken & logos=written. But why? – It’s done in order to teach that we need to seek for the rhema word! Because according to them this is the ‘Holy Spirit’s voice’ and the only one that will give us ‘NEW Revelation’, ‘encounters with God‘, in relation to the present moment we are living in (we can seek God for prophetic words, word of knowledge, etc.) . They say we need ‘rhema’ in order to ‘walk in the Spirit’. But this is false!
- “For to one is given by the Spirit the word (logos) of wisdom; to another the word (logos)of knowledge by the same Spirit; 1 Cor.12:8 . See Greek interlinear
Their agenda is to take us away from the true teachings (doctrine) of the Word of God, into their Gnostic mystical experiences, that have no boundaries & that lead into the occult. To sustain their teaching, they will give examples were the word rhema is used (but they wont give you many of logos), example, when Jesus said:
Please notice Jesus didn’t use the word ‘logos’ to describe the written Word.
A very popular & leading apostle in the NAR movement, Bill Johnson wrote:
“As wonderful as our spiritual roots are, they are insufficient. What was good for yesterday is deficient for today. To insist that we stay with what our fathers fought for is to insult our forefathers. They risked all to pursue something fresh and new in God. It’s not that everything must change for us to flow with what God is saying and doing. It’s just that we make too many assumptions about the rightness of what presently exists. Those assumptions blind us to the revelations still contained in Scripture. In reality, what we think of as the normal Christian life cannot hold the weight of what God is about to do.” (‘When Heaven Invades Earth‘, Kindle edition, pages 162-163, emphasis mine),
But we are rooted in Jesus Christ (Col. 2:7, Rom 11:16) & His Word (Col.3:16, Lk.8:11-18, Lk 11: 28)! In the Scriptures we have everything we need & according to God it is sufficient! 2 Tim. 3:16-17. The fresh & new for the early disciples was because the arrival of the promised Messiah, & their beginning into the New Covenant! do we want to get out of it & risk it all to pursue something different? The Word of God tell us over & over again, to remain, to continue or hold fast to the same doctrine that Jesus & His disciples taught. “Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus”. 2 Tim. 1:13, Acts 2:42, 1 Tim. 4:16, etc.
These NAR teachings are very subtle & they always mix truth with lies, otherwise Christians wouldn’t be interested & wouldn’t buy their stuff, but they are unbiblical! They believe their rhema word is equal in authority to the Scriptures but this is a BIG error!
I believe God can guide us & can speak to our hearts. The Scriptures talk about being led by the Spirit of God. But this is mainly on a personal level & it doesn’t have same authority as the inerrant Scripture, we cannot add or subtract to the Scriptures! Deut. 4:2; Prov. 30:6, Gal. 1:8-9 ; Rev.22:19; Acts 17:11.
If we study these words logos vs rhema in the Bible, we will notice there is not any distinction as they teach. Below are some examples:
“In the beginning was the Word (logos), and the Word (logos) was with God, and the Word (logos) was God.” Jn.1:1
“And many of the Samaritans of that city believed in Him because of the word (logos) of the woman who testified . . .And many more believed because of His own word (logos)“. Jn.4:41 (words that were spoken not written)
“Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word (logos) and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life”. Jn.5:24
“Therefore many from the crowd, when they heard this saying (logos), said, “Truly this is the Prophet”. Jn.7:40
“Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word (logos), you are My disciples indeed”. Jn. 8:31
“Most assuredly, I say to you, if anyone keeps My word (logos) he shall never see death.” Jn.8:51
“You are already clean because of the word (logos) which I have spoken to you“. Jn.15:3
“But let your communication (logos) be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil” Mtt.5:37
“Therefore whoever hears these sayings (logos) of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock:” Matt. 7:24
“The centurion answered and said, “Lord, I am not worthy that You should come under my roof. But only speak a word (logos), and my servant will be healed.” Matt.8:8
“When evening had come, they brought to Him many who were demon-possessed. And He cast out the spirits with a word (logos), and healed all who were sick” Matt.8:16
“Anyone who speaks a word (logos) against the Son of Man,it will be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come” Matt.12:32. (Greek interlinear)
“Then the Pharisees went and plotted how they might entangle Him in His talk (logos)”. Matt. 22:15
“And no one was able to answer Him a word (logos), nor from that day on did anyone dare question Him anymore. Mt.22:46
“He who does not love Me does not keep My words (logos); and the word (logos) which you hear is not Mine but the Father’s who sent Me” John 14:24
“They went through the region of Phrygia and Galatia and were forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word (logos) in Asia.” Acts.16:6
“And the keeper of the prison told this saying (logos) to Paul, The magistrates have sent to let you go: now therefore depart, and go in peace.” Acts 16:36
“These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word (logos) with all eagerness, daily examining the Scriptures, to find out if these things were so.” Acts 17:11 – (received an spoken word & compared with Scriptures).
“And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech (logos) until midnight”. Acts 20:7
“Let no one deceive you with empty words (logos), for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.” Eph. 5:6
“and for me, that utterance (logos) may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel. Eph.6:19
“For the word (logos) of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, . .” Hebrews 4:12
“By Him you are enriched in everything, in all speech (logos) and in all knowledge, ” 1 Cor. 1:5
“Let your speech (logos) always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one.” Col. 4:6
- “For to one is given by the Spirit the word (logos) of wisdom; to another the word (logos)of knowledge by the same Spirit; 1 Cor.12:8
“But Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words (rhema) of eternal life”. Jn. 6:68
“He who is of God hears God’s words (rhema); therefore you do not hear, because you are not of God.” Jn.8:47
“Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word (rhema) of God”. Eph. 6:17
“and have tasted the good word (rhema) of God and the powers of the age to come”. Heb. 6:5
“but the word (rhema) of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word (rhema) which by the gospel is preached unto you. 1 Peter 1:25 – Note: “But the word (H1697) of our God stands forever” Isaiah 40:8.
Please compare with Num. 15:31 “Because he hath despised the word (H1697) of the Lord, and hath broken his commandment, that soul shall utterly be cut off; his iniquity shall be upon him” -In the New Testament rhema is used, but same phrase was taken from Old Testament were is talking about the written Word of God.
“He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words (rhema), has that which judges him—the word (logos) that I have spoken will judge him in the last day.” Jn 12.48
“But I say to you that for every idle word (rhema) men may speak, they will give account (logos) of it in the day of judgment” Matt.12:36.
Now check this example:
- “And Peter remembered the word (rhema) of Jesus who had said to him, “Before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.” Matthew 26:75 .
- – Compare with “Then Peter remembered the word (logos) of the Lord, how He had said to him, “Before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.” Luke 22:61
I think this shows us that we need to test very carefully what teachers/preachers write or say. I’ve heard before that we shouldn’t test because it “dishonors a man of God,” but the Bible clearly states that we need to test people’s teachings or prophecies, to ensure they agree with what Jesus Christ and his original apostles (no modern self-proclaimed apostles) taught so we will not be deceived. 1 Thess. 5:19-22, 1 Tim. 3:10 , Acts 17:10-12.