Read a short excerpt from my new book and discover how one small Greek word makes all the difference to prophecy.
I’m always looking to mix things up on timbaderonline and today is no different.
Most guides to blogging tell me that I have to set up my blog posts for SEO (Search Engine Optimisation). The idea is to squash in the right keywords so that I can get visits from new readers via Google.
However, while I enjoy seeing new people as much as the next blogger, I also like to communicate with my established readers too (hint: that means you!).
If you’re on my email list, then you’ll already have seen that my next book is underway. So, I thought I would share a little about my progress.
The Challenge Of Book Writing (And Everything Else)
Writing a book has proved to be a real challenge recently:
I always feel exhausted at this time of year, in the lead up to Christmas, and it’s always a relief to make it to the holidays.
I still have only one day per week to work on my ministry, so outlining, writing and editing a book has to fit in around all the other things I need to do.
There’s time to pray, WordPress upgrades to run, blog posts to write, web pages to update, emails to answer and tax returns to submit.
And there are plenty of issues that crop up: everything from technical problems which “break” the website, through to changes in third-party service’s T&Cs that mandate changes.
Thankfully, the Facebook issue was easy to solve. But it’s exactly the type of thing that crops up on a regular basis and distracts me from my true mission.
An Outline For My Book
So yes, it’s been a challenge, but I’ve been encouraged by the progress I have made so far.
I have an outline of the whole book in place, although I dare say it will change as I continue to write. The Introduction is complete, and I’m partway through “Part 1” of three.
These headings are a work in progress (so they may change in the final version) but so far, these are the titles of each Part:
- Part 1: The Nature And Implementation Of Prophecy
- Part 2: How To Prophesy With The 4 Steps
- Part 3: Prophetic Lifestyle And Your Place In God’s Church
In essence, it’s going to be everything you need to know about the gift of prophecy: what it is, why it’s an important spiritual gift, how you “do” it …and how it can affect your entire life!
Below is a small excerpt from the chapter “What Is Prophecy?”.
Read on to hear how the famous “armour of God” verses from Ephesians have a significant bearing on prophecy and the prophetic gifts. And stay tuned to the end because I also have a question to ask you!
Book Excerpt: Modern Prophecy And The Bible
I have heard some Christians say that prophecy only comes from the Bible, and that reading the Bible is equivalent to prophecy in the modern day.
In other words, if you read the Bible and understand its application in your life, then that is a “prophecy” for you.
I believe that idea is in error and that the truth of the Bible operates slightly differently to prophecy and prophetic words.
Logos Versus Rhema And Its Bearing On Prophecy
“Therefore take up the whole armour of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.
Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace.
In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication.”
Sword Of The Spirit
In Ephesians 6:17, we read about the “Sword of the Spirit which is the word of God” (emphasis mine).
Throughout the Bible, there are two Greek words we translate as “word”, as in “the word of God”: logos and rhema.
These two words are used more or less interchangeably, and there is a lot of discussion among scholars whether there is a distinction between them, or not.
However, for many modern Christians they are understood as follows:
- Logos is used to describe God’s eternal, unchanging truth and is often used to refer to the Bible itself as “his word”. We also use it to speak of Jesus as “the word of God” or “the Logos of God”.
- Rhema is used to describe the active words of God, particularly the words that Jesus spoke.
In the case of Ephesians 6:17 the word we translate as “Word” is the Greek word Rhema. Hence, we could paraphrase: “the sword of the Spirit, which is the active word of God”.
I believe the context is showing us something current and active: a sword is very much a tool you have to do something with, in order for it to be effective.
Contrast this with verse 14, where we have the belt of truth. While the word Logos is not used here, the sense is of something passive: we put a belt on in the morning and forget about it as we go about our business. However, it’s always there, and we’d soon know if it came undone!
Prophecy: The Sword Of The Spirit
For me, prophecy is one way that the Lord gives us to wield the sword of the spirit. Prophecy often cuts through the atmosphere and brings release, frequently involving other gifts of the spirit:
If you’re a member of a charismatic church, like the one I grew up in, have you ever noticed how in church meetings, prophecy is often the first gift to be employed, but it’s rarely the last?
Veterans of the 4 Steps Prophecy School may realise that my new book is based on it.
Of course, there will be some overlap: some things in the School (but not all) will make their way into the book. And a lot of the ideas and concepts discussed on timbaderonline.com will also appear (but all in one place, rather than spread across a website).
However, there will be some things you’ll find only in the book.
I won’t spoil the surprise, but I hope the excerpt you’ve read today has whetted your appetite.
The one thing I’m missing from the book at the moment is a name for it!
I’m thinking of calling it simply, “4 Steps To Prophecy”, but I’ve thought of variations and subtitles for it too, such as:
- “4 Steps To Prophecy: A Practical Guide To All Things Prophetic”
- “Personal Prophecy: How To Do It Right”
- “How To Use The Gift Of Prophecy In Personal Ministry: A Field Guide”
- “Everything You Need To Know About Prophecy And The Prophetic Lifestyle”
And that’s where I’d like your input:
Do you think any of the titles above is a good name for the book and if so, which one do you like best?
Let me know your vote in the comments, below!