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The Highest Calling of God in the Church - Faith Part 6
Dr. Allen M. Barber
March 2, 2008

Today's study is one that vitally needs to be taught the Church for it is the basis of genuine faith and that is the Law of Personalized Revelation. There are two Greek words that define the Word of God -  logos and rhema. All of the Bible is logos, which is the general revelation of God to man. Logos is the foundation for all that we know of God's revelation to the Church. Without logos, there would be no rhema for rhema is based upon the written word or Logos. For example, in John 1:1 all of the Greek words for "word" are logos:

John 1:1-5 NKJV

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. 4 In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.

Jesus Christ is the logos or the revelation of God in all of the Sacred Scriptures and in that sense He can be known by all who believe God's Word (the logos) about Him. The same is true of all of the Bible text - it is what took place in time past and was written down in a book of books called the Bible. All who desire the revelation of God can understand many things about the will of God as they allow the Holy Spirit to teach them the truths of Holy Writ. The general revelation of the Word of God every Christian has, that is, those who read and study the Word. However, there is a second revelation of the Word that is a higher level of understanding, if you will, and it is referred to as rhema. It is personalized revelation. As mentioned, most of the revelation people know about the Word of God is logos - general knowledge. Only a few in the body of Christ understand rhema yet  it is essential for living by faith and not by sight (2 Cor.5:7).

Since the Holy Spirit gave me  the understanding of rhema faith in the early 1990's, I have tried to teach it to the body of Christ. I must say the results have been sadly disappointing. When I share the need of rhema faith in order to walk in the kind of faith that believes God "has" (past tense) not "can" or "might," the people look at me as if I have said something they never heard. The truth is, most have not had any teaching on rhema faith, yet there is no real Bible believing faith without it and no basis for standing on the Word. The reason many become discouraged in trying to live by faith is that they are living on logos faith - the general written Word that applies to all of us, for all of the Word of God is truth. However, as someone rightly said, "The truth of itself has set no one free, but it is the truth you know (the revelation) that sets you free."  Until the Holy Spirit reveals the truth of the Word to you or me personally, it is just a book of general information however eternal its precepts. For example, the following passages are all based on rhema faith:

Romans 10:17 NKJV

17 So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. (word is rhema - personalized revelation).

Ephesians 6:17 NKJV
 

17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; (word is rhema).

Notice in both passages faith is based upon rhema not logos. When we hear the Word of God and receive it in our spirits as the revelation of God, it is the rhema word. Because it is personalized revelation - Holy  Spirit imparted knowledge of the Word of God for a given situation, we have a firm basis to trust God to bring it to pass. Manley Beasley says, "We can never trust God until we get a word from Him because our faith corresponds to the degree of truth imparted." This is the  difference between faith and presumption. Presumption is a passive acceptance of life based on the character of God, whereas faith is an active participation based on the revealed truth from God."  The principle for this is seen in the following passages:

Matthew 16:13-19 NKJV

13 When Jesus came into the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, saying, "Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?"
 

14 So they said," Some say John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets."
15 He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?"
16 Simon Peter answered and said," You are the Christ, the Son of the living God."
17 Jesus answered and said to him, "Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. 
18 And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.
19 And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven."

Peter's insight into who Jesus was did not come by his own understanding, not even after having spent 3 1/2 years with Him, but by the revelation of the Father, which is the same as Holy Spirit revelation. The Father in heaven by the Holy Spirit revealed the deity of Jesus to Simon Peter. Notice that Jesus called Simon "Blessed."  Rhema is very precious for it is the stuff faith is made of. When I understood rhema faith, I began to keep a spiritual diary of the rhema words I was given and when they came to pass, I crossed them out and wrote the date the answer came for the specific thing I was believing God for based on the rhema word.

Perhaps the greatest example in the Bible of rhema faith is the dialogue between Jesus and the Roman Centurion as recorded in Matthew 8:

Matthew 8:5-13 NKJV

5 Now when Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to Him, pleading with Him,
6 saying, "Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, dreadfully tormented."
7 And Jesus said to him, "I will come and heal him."
8 The centurion answered and said, "Lord, I am not worthy that You should come under my roof. But only speak a word, and my servant will be healed.
9 For I also am a man under authority, having soldiers under me. And I say to this one, 'Go,' and he goes; and to another, 'Come,' and he comes; and to my servant, 'Do this,' and he does it."
10 When Jesus heard it, He marveled, and said to those who followed, "Assuredly, I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel!
11 And I say to you that many will come from east and west, and sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven.
12 But the sons of the kingdom will be cast out into outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth."
13 Then Jesus said to the centurion, "Go your way; and as you have believed, so let it be done for you." And his servant was healed that same hour.

The Roman Centurion no doubt had observed Jesus healing the multiples and understood the authority of His Word for healing, as he himself was a man who commanded 100 Roman soldiers. When Jesus said He had not seen such great faith, not even in Israel (the alleged custodians of the Word of God), he was referring to the Centurion's statement that it was not necessary for Jesus to come to his house, but just speak the Word and his servant would be healed.  In essence, the Roman Centurion got a word from God (rhema), he believed it and his servant was healed at the precise moment he  believed the word of Jesus. As Manley Beasley said, we cannot trust God until we have a rhema word or personalized revelation - the Word God is speaking to you not to someone else. Too many saints are trying to live by somebody else's faith - the preacher, the Bible teacher, the commentarian, etc. instead of going before the Lord and getting a word from Him for a specific situation.

How was Peter able to walk on water because he thought it would be cool or that it would make him more spiritual than the other disciples? No, he got a word from Jesus, who said to him, "Come!" Elijah prophesied that it would not rain for 3 1/2 years (I Kings 17) in the land of Judah and it did not.  What did he base his prophecy on  - "according to the Word of God!" When God makes His truth personal, you can trust Him because you now have a word (rhema) from God Himself. How very precious the rhema word of God.

I will give you two examples, and I could cite many more of how rhema faith has worked in my life for the glory of God and my benefit:

[In the 1980's, I was pastoring a Baptist Church in the Houston area and we were having the usual spring Baptist revival. The evangelist had just left a long-time pastorate to go into full-time evangelism. He had a wife and two small children and no salary. He depended on love offerings from the body of Christ.  About 6 months previously, we had purchased a new Dodge station wagon and one morning during the revival, I was driving the vehicle and heard God speak a word in my spirit that I was to give the car to the evangelist. At first, I wasn't sure if I had heard God right, but he confirmed His directive. After explaining it to my wife, she was agreeable that we should give the car to the evangelist. That night after the service was over, I related to the Church and the evangelist what God told me to do and gave him the keys to a new Dodge station wagon. What I didn't know was that very day, he had been on his knees asking God for a better vehicle as his old car had seen its best days. God gave both of us a rhema word and as we stood on the rhema, God moved to make the word materialize. He and his family were blessed with a new car that met their needs and God taught me something about acting upon rhema faith. In addition, he blessed my life in many ways with a substantial increase in salary and a new car to replace the one I had given to the evangelist.]

[Then in 1983, God moved us to pastor another Baptist Church in Pine Bluff, Arkansas. The Church had begun in a garage five years earlier and grown substantially. One problem they had was retiring a $250,000 debt for the new facility. They had tried professional fund raisers, etc. but the debt remained. When I assumed my duties as pastor in October 1983, the Lord told me to tell the people the debt would be paid in full by December 31 New Years Eve and we would burn the note. I obeyed the Lord and told the people from the pulpit exactly what God told me. One of the elders remarked that either I was a fool or a prophet (I think he meant that better people than me had tried to retire the debt and could not, so who did I think I was). Well, on December 31 (about two and a half months from the time I received the rhema Word) the debt was paid in full and we burned the note. The elder who had chastised me apologized for his remarks. I did not need or care that he did not believe me for I had a Word from God, otherwise, he would have been right, for without a Word from God, the debt would not have been paid off and I would have been a fool! When you have a rhema Word from God and stand on it, it will come to pass in God's timing. In the situation with the debt, God told me the exact date the rhema would be fulfilled. I never doubted for a second the rhema would not come to pass for I had already seen it in my spirit for the rhema was lodged firmly in my heart.]

Many of the rhema's I have been given come directly from the logos, the written Word. What many denominational believers do not understand, and even many Charismatics, is that while the logos or written word was for a specific period in time past, the verse or passage of Scripture the rhema is based on will always have a current fulfillment. For example, God told me in March 1994 from Jeremiah 46:20 and Hosea 10:10-15 that he was sending "spiritual horseflies" to the United States to attack our nation's life blood - its financial empire. If there was no repentance, two more judgments would follow upon the military and our breadbasket. On 9-11-2001, 19 Arab terrorists (spiritual horseflies) attacked the WTC's (the icons of our financial empire) and killed 3000 innocent people. In addition, millions of people lost their jobs  - many forever as they were never reinstated. Later comments from Ben Laden supported the rhema God had shown me seven years earlier, for he said the attacks were to weaken and destroy our financial empire, the source of America's greatness!

The Law of Personalized Revelation is essential for walking by faith in a faithless world.  The more logos you know, the more rhema you will be given for rhema is based on logos and genuine biblical faith is based on rhema.

May the Lord give you all rhema faith.