Logos and Rhema
God has spoken to the world through His Son. He sent His Son and gave Him as the Lamb, the sacrifice to end all sacrifices. Our activity is simply to agree, receive, give thanks, and present our bodies a living sacrifice every day. And to be still so that we might hear what the Spirit of Christ may say to us today. Today if you would hear His voice, harden not your hearts. His words are given through the written word where we read the facts of spiritual truth. This is logos.
The writer of Hebrews begins with the thought of the preeminence of Christ. Some think Paul wrote that letter and some think it Apollos or some other. I tend to the thought that it was Paul and he did not identify himself because of the opposition to himself among Jews. We ought to recognize that some come to a reception of the truth quickly, and for others it takes some time, from our perspective. We can never rush someone else into revelation and true spiritual relationship with Jesus. We cannot make it happen. We cannot do it for ourselves. But we can, and must respond, to the revelation we receive.
Whoever the writer of Hebrews was, he wrote to those who still held onto some of the old. Read the entire letter and much is included to help us to leave the shadows. Everything done through the law and the prophets was a type and shadow. As I write that, it does not mean that God was not the author of it all by the Spirit. Here is a mystery. That means it is simply the truth that His ways are higher, deeper, and wiser, that ours. His ways include mystery that we cannot grasp by analysis. The idea of dispensationalism is that God changes the way He works. I think it is better to say He chose to reveal Himself to mankind in an increasing clear manner. His revelation culminated in sending His Son to take on human flesh (incarnation) and being sacrificed for us. And He was raised from the dead without any work through any human vessel. While the prophets had done similar miraculous works, Jesus’ resurrection was uniquely God alone.
Malachi is the last recorded prophet included in what we call the canon of scripture. He was in the period of history we call the Old Testament. At a much later point in history, men earnestly considered what should be included in the Bible, as the written record of the Lord’s relationship with mankind. We ought to say that some include other writings. We avoid such debates here. The point of this is that we have a written record and we need to pay close attention to it. If we think we can operate outside or apart from what is written, we are open to deception. Jesus Himself used what was written in the law and the prophets to resist Satan himself. This was direct confrontation.
I believe the Lord’s hand was upon those who confirmed which books were collected into what we call the Old Testament. But we miss the entire message if we do not understand that the word testament is another word for covenant and that is a relationship upon which the writings are based. It is much more than a collection of stories or principles. The law and prophets provide a record of a family relationship that had failed but set the stage for the Savior. Natural Israel was to be the bride of the Lord but she could not. The flesh profits nothing.
Through Malachi, the Lord ended the record of His controversy with Israel. We should understand in that period few understood God’s mercy and grace as well as His severity. And I don’t think anyone understood His highest nature is that of Father. They would never use that word. Yet Moses, Elijah, and David were men who lived that experience. Moses spoke to the Lord as a friend. His was a close relationship. Same with Elijah and David. The psalms tell us that the Lord’s ways are lovingkindness and truth. By the new birth, we come into a living relationship as a child and the normal spiritual life in Christ is to grow to full spiritual maturity.
These words are from the Spirit. They are expressions of the truth in the Bible. The apostles who wrote the gospels and the letters had close spiritual walks with the Lord. He desires that for all of us. The words that the Lord, in the still small voice would speak to us, are apples of gold. If they do not line up with what’s written we should question them. When something is called gold it is divine. It’s from God. It has His life in it. It produces goodness, righteousness, in the one who hears and receives it. It brings faith. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by a word of God. And that is the rhema, the spoken, the uttered word of God. This spoken word is spiritual, and it has at times been physically heard.