JESUS DOES NOT BACK DOWN
WHEN HIS AUTHORITY CHALLENGED
Jesus also stressed the authority that He had, and that we too should have in our preaching.
When Jesus taught, He did not use words like, "maybe", "could be", "perhaps", etc. He had the authority and assurance to speak the assured word of faith. Jesus spoke the ‘rhema’ of God, speaking words inspired of God. He was not fearful, but was assured that the words had the authority of God behind them,
The Jews were not used to such authority. Many Christians are likewise not accustomed to having someone teach that way.
"And when He was come into the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came unto Him as He was teaching, and said, By what authority doest Thou these things? and who gave Thee this authority? And Jesus answered and said unto them, I also will ask you one thing, which if ye tell Me, I in likewise will tell you by what authority I do these things. The baptism of John whence was it? from heaven or of men? And they reasoned with themselves, saying, If we shall say - From heaven! He will say unto us, Why did not ye then believe him? But if we shall say: Of men!, we fear the people; for all hold John as a prophet. And they answered Jesus, and said, We cannot tell. And He said unto them, Neither tell I you by what authority I do these things."
Too many, in that day, and in our own, speak what people want to hear. Many will not teach anything with authority, but will present many possible ideas, and tell the listeners nothing with confidence. We are not to teach that way. We are to trust God's Word, and teach it with authority. The scribes of Jesus's day pronounced nothing with authority. The Pharisees and others shied away from authority statements. Jesus and we can and should speak authoritatively.
The false prophets, the tares, the troublemakers in the church would like to intimidate our proclamation of the message. Jesus did not back down, and spoke authoritatively in proclaiming the message. During the original lenten period, Jesus wept over their sins, but did not water down the message of truth.
We, today, are to speak rhema. There is a mission. We are to speak the messages of God to sinner and saint. There are announcements to be made.
Anyone, even the devil, can quote ‘logos’. The Word of God, as written, can be quoted, misquoted, applied correctly, or perverted into false teaching. The devil misquoted, misapplied God’s Word. We need to use the sword of the Spirit, speaking rhema, to correct the perversions of the Logos word, to bind those who would further pervert God’s real message. The rhema is to loose the prisoners of false teaching, bind the evil forces at work against the church of the Lord. The Word of the Lord will ‘not return void’. It will accomplish its task.
There are different kinds of rhema word that we are to be speaking. The variety of situations in this world, require a variety of kinds of rhema. There is a need to identify and organize the kinds of rhema, so that we can be available to be used with the proper method of God.
We are told to ‘rightly divide the Word of truth.’
II Timothy 2:15-16
"Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of truth. But shun profane and vain babblings, for they will increase unto more ungodliness."
There are two groupings here for the ‘words’. There are some that are the ‘word of truth’, and there are ‘profane and vain babblings.’ Jesus spoke authoritatively the word of truth’.
How do we ‘rightly divide’ not only the difference between the two, but also in the midst of each one, how do we define difference of kinds. There are many kinds of ‘words of truth’. There are many kinds of ‘profane and vain babblings.’
The word for ‘divide’ in that passage, is ‘orthotomeo’. It means to deal with a thing by cutting and dividing it, to discern its composition and purpose. The Word of Truth is composed of the purpose and teachings of God. We need to determine God’s purpose and method of accomplishing that purpose of each word.
The profane and vain babblings of false ones needs to be cut and dissected, dividing leaven from the lump, cutting truth from error, and determining the source as from God or from other spirits, evil or human.
The word ‘profane’ is the Greek ‘bebelos’ meaning to ‘go over a threshold without authorization.’ It refers to some who speak words, claiming them to be ‘godly’ or from God. If these words do not reflect God’s truth and are not sourced from God, they are profane.
The word translated ‘vain babblings’ is the Greek word ‘kenophonia’ meaning fruitless and empty discussion.’
Paul mentioned both these kinds and a third also, in I Timothy 6:20.
"O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane
and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called.’
The word ‘science’ is the word ‘gnosis’, and refers to mor than ‘science’ as we think of it today. It refers to all kinds of ‘knowledge’. There are many claiming knowledge of Scripture, of spiritual truths, of revelations. Some are calling there messages to be ‘knowledge’ and truth, and they are ‘falsely’ claiming that.
Timothy was a young man. He was often tempted to listen to what others were calling knowledge, but some of it was ‘false’, some was ‘profane’ and not sourced from God at all, and some were ‘vain babblings’ and were therefore worthless discussion.
Paul stressed to Timothy to ‘shun’ those things, in both epistles written to him. Today, we need to begin before that even. Some have no idea that there are profane, vain, and knowledge falsely so called. They do not attempt to shun any, they let their ears and hearts feast on the profane, vain, and false. It is time to determine the worth, the source and the purpose of words we hear.
If we do not, we should be ‘ashamed’. If we ‘rightly divide’ the word of truth, and shun what does not qualify to be called the ‘word of truth’, then we will not need to be ashamed before our God.
KINDS OF THE AUTHORIZED RHEMA WORDS
THROWN STONE INTO THE HENHOUSE RHEMA
One day the Lord told me to post a particular passage on the internet. I did, but of course, I asked ‘why?’ The Lord told me, I was ‘throwing a stone into the hen house’ and I would see what happens when that is done. The passage was from II Peter, and described the traits of false prophets. I called no one a false prophet, but simply posted how God described such false prophets to be. Suddenly, I was being called a ‘sorcerer’, ‘devilish’, and a ‘vampire’. Others were attacking me for everything but for how I parted my hair. The ‘hens’ were flying, and they could easily be counted and recognized due to their own unwitting revelation of who they were. It was amusing to watch, though sad to know there were so many who were scared by that ‘stone’ thrown into the hen house.
The rhema word is a stone, and whatever the subject, it has effect on those for whom, or about whom it was meant. The word is powerful. If they had been true prophets, and none of those traits described them, they would have said ‘amen’. But the description of the false prophet, so closely described what was in their life, that it scared and upset them.
PIERCING SWORD RHEMA
Peter preached on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2), and the hearts of the people were ‘pricked’. The word ‘pricked’ (Acts 2:37) is the Greek word ‘katanusso’ meaning to ‘strike violently, producing strong emotion.’ The rhema word pierced through the hard-heartedness and pride of the souls, and opened the heart to conviction. Three thousand were saved that day, when the piercing rhema opened them to the truth. Stephen’s message continued to work on Saul of Tarsus, preparing him for the encounter with Jesus on the road to Damascus.
God’s ministers are authorized to speak a message, a rhema, that will cut through the insulation to conviction that many have upon their hearts. The rhema will pierce the hardened heart and mind. The rhema will sever the excuse and pride from one’s actions, making it possible for the Spirit to convict without hindrance.
In Hebrews, we are told that some would ‘not enter in to the rest’. (Hebrews 3:18). They had rebelled, murmured, sinned. They were finally ‘severed’ from being able to enter in. The same passage goes on to state that the ‘Word of God is quick, powerful, sharper’ and it is the Word, the rhema word through the God’s preachers will sever and announce that many have lost out of the ‘rest’ that they should have been striving to reach. (Hebrews 4:11-12). Paul in Romans spoke to the possibility of those who were ‘grafted in’ when Israel had been ‘severed’, could also be ‘severed’. (Romans 11:17-24)
The rhema words in the last days, will oft include announcing that some of those grafted in branches are now being severed. Paul warned of that happening, and we live in the day, when it is happening. The lukewarm are being spued out, the cold are going to be severed, and oft the Lord will use a rhema word to announce His decision.
Missiles launch from one site, and travel to distant places, to hit a target unseen by those at the launch site. The rhema of God can be spoken in one place, and have effect in another. Jesus was willing to go with the centurion to his home, but the centurion said ‘Speak the Word only... and..." (Matthew 8:5-9). The word of God is powerful. It can have effect wherever it is meant to have effect. We pray here, it is heard in heaven. We can speak rhema here and have effect anywhere.
In Luke 4:16-22, Jesus was at the synagogue at Nazareth. There, He opened the Scriptures, and read from Isaiah 61. That passage was a rhema announcement from Isaiah and was being fulfilled before the eyes of those in that synagogue that day. Jesus stood up and read that passage, and then told them the rhema word from Isaiah was being fulfilled before their eyes.
In John 9:1-41, we see Jesus speak a message that the people did not comprehend, and the pharisees rejected. As they sought to kill Him, Jesus escaped through their midst, but stopped to heal a blind man.
"...I am come into the world that they who see not might see, and they who see might be made blind.’
This is the message of Jesus, His rhema word. Yet, happening as He was speaking it, was the illustrated lesson of God. The pharisees had been blinded to Jesus’ message and were unable to see truth. The blind man had been blind, but now could see. Spiritually, we come to Jesus blind, and can be made to see. Some claim to see, and when confronted by the rhema of God, become blind.
This illustrated lesson is but one of the many illustrated lessons that God intends to show in these last days.
‘A picture is worth a thousand words’, we are told. And God loves to illustrate His lessons to us.
SIGNS AND WONDERS RHEMA
Moses announced to Korah and the rebellious Levites, that if God did not accept their premise and teaching, that the earth would open and swallow them down into sheol. The earth suddenly opened and took them down to sheol alive.
Jesus told Peter to fish, and the fish he would catch would have money in its mouth. Peter did fish, found the money, and it was twice what he needed.
Peter and John spoke rhema to the lame man at the Temple. The man obeyed the rhema command to ‘rise and walk’, and he not only rose, but he walked, ran, shouted, testified, etc.
Jesus spoke many a ‘woe unto...’ In Luke 6:24-26, we find Jesus speaking ‘woe’ to those who are ‘rich... those full... those laughing now... those who have men ‘speaking well’ of them. In Luke 10:13, He spoke ‘woe’ to Chroazin and Bethsaida. In Luke 11:42-52, He spoke ‘woe’ to the pharisees, scribes, men of the law...’ These were bombarding their walls of separation from reality. Those words broke down walls, destroyed the separating walls from the Lord.
As fiery darts from the devil and his cohorts strike saints who have let their shield of faith too low, so the ‘bombardment’ woes, that the army of prophets speak, do strike the heart of the apostate, of the hypocritical ones, of the false prophets.
COMFORT AND BLESSING RHEMA
In Matthew 5:1-12, we find Jesus speaking beatitudes, ‘blesseds’ to those they describe. The ‘poor in spirit, the mourners, the meek, those that ‘hunger and thirst after righteousness’ are blessed by that rhema word from the Lord.
Saints today oft say ‘God bless you’, and speak to the hearer the blessings of God. There is power in rhema blessing. And we need to understand this, and speak that ‘bless’ rhema properly.
In II John 10-11, we are told that those who come with false doctrines, we are not to receive them into our homes, not to speak ‘Godspeed’ to them. If we do speak and impart blessings to one who will use that blessing to spread damnable doctrines, we have helped the enemy and the error they preach. That makes those who speak ‘Blessings’ to them to be ‘partaker of their evil deeds.’
We need to be careful whom we bless. Sinners can be blessed with conviction. Yet, some just pass out blessings, not realizing there is real power in the ‘blessings’ that one passes ut.
Elijah went up Mt. Carmel, there to confront the priests and prophets of Baal. He challenged them to call fire out of heaven to prove their god was great. He taunted and comically spoke that maybe he was sleeping, on a vacation, etc. This comic message was, I believe, rhema word, illustrating the humor of God. The message was showing that Baal was powerless before the Lord Jehovah. Though taunted to ‘shout louder’, we find that Elijah and God saw humor in their desperate strivings to get their god to act.
God still has a sense of humor, and laughs at men’s attempts to defeat Him. There will be times, in these last days, when God will still have the rhema to contain the humor of the Lord.
II Timothy 1:5-6
"...stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands.’
Paul had laid hands on Timothy, and spoken rhema, imparting upon Timothy, gifts of the Spirit. Paul and Barnabas had ministry and a mission imparted to them by the rhema, prayers, and laying on of hands of others. (Acts 13:1-3)
Gifts will be imparted to others, with laying on of hands, and rhema word. This has been a forgotten type of rhema in many congregations, but it will be revived further in these last days.
In Matthew 16:19, and 18:18, there is instruction and authority given to the saints, to ‘bind and loose’. We, of these last days, will lay hold on this authority. There will be rhema spoken that will bind the devils, bind the schemes and schemers of the devil, bind sickness, and curses that some attempt to put on others.
In that same passage of Matthew, authority is given to ‘loose’. The saints will loose angels to take evil spirits to the abyss. We will also loose health in persons, loose people from gripping habits and addictions, free prisoners of the devil, loose eyes from the blindness of satan.
Jesus cursed the barren fig tree (Matthew 21:18-22), and that was a riddle lesson. One has to think what did that cursing represent. Ministers of God today will speak words that seem strange, but they will be riddles for others to figure out the meaning.
The parable of the wicked husbandmen (Matthew 21:33-46) shewed in rhema form a warning of judgment to come on such type of ones. There we see Jesus speak: "...the kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof."
Trials, persecutions, judgments are soon to come. Betrayals, back stabbings, etc. will soon occur. Ministers will be forewarning in rhema word.
"...He cast out the spirits with His word and healed all that were sick."
The rhema words of Jesus cast out devils, healed the sick. In our time also, we should be finding that rhema words from God, will do the same.
GRACE AND FORGIVENESS RHEMA
Jesus said the man lowered through the roof, that ‘thy sins be forgiven thee.’ To the woman caught in adultery, He spoke, ‘neither do I condemn thee, go and sin no more."
We do not forgive sins, Yet, the rhema word they speak is from God, and He does forgive sin, when repented. God sees the heart, and knows when the person is repentant and accepts salvation from Jesus. In rhema word from God, we will be speaking forgiveness and grace to many in these last days.
There are likely many other types of rhema words for us to be speaking. These are the ones about which the Lord has been talking to me.
There are also ‘profane and vain babblings’, that are words that lack the authority of God, and are to be shunned. They are not rhema, for they do not find their source in God. From man’s own heart, he may speak, or from a demonic obsession, he may speak. These kinds of words need to be ‘shunned.’
We, as did Jesus, are to speak words authorized by God, and powerful by that authority. During the lenten observances, we are to be reminded of the authority with which Jesus spoke, and follow His example.