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11/8/21-DO YOU UNDERSTAND WHAT YOU ARE READING?

That’s the question Philip asked the Ethiopian eunuch as he read out loud from Isaiah 53. His response is indicative of most Christians today. They have the logos of the Word but not the rhema. They can quote it but it hasn’t penetrated their hearts to the point of actually believing and acting upon its revealed truth. Because of that, many Christians are not enjoying the benefits it teaches that we can have. Who is to blame? Some of the blame can be traced back to pastors, but we are also responsible for taking the initiative to go beyond a Sunday morning sermon. We have to study the Word and depend on the Holy Spirit to take us from logos, the written Word to rhema the revealed Word.


“Now an angel of the Lord spoke to Philip, saying, “Arise and go toward the south along the road which goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” This is desert. So he arose and went. And behold, a man of Ethiopia, a eunuch of great authority under Candace the queen of the Ethiopians, who had charge of all her treasury, and had come to Jerusalem to worship, was returning. And sitting in his chariot, he was reading Isaiah the prophet. Then the Spirit said to Philip, “Go near and overtake this chariot.” So Philip ran to him, and heard him reading the prophet Isaiah, and said, “Do you understand what you are reading?” And he said, “How can I, unless someone guides me?” And he asked Philip to come up and sit with him.”

‭‭Acts‬ ‭8:26-31‬ ‭NKJV‬‬


If the Lord could send Philip off the beaten path to help one man understand the scriptures, what won’t He do for us who desire to know the Truth of scriptures? As a matter of fact He has already done so. If Jesus Christ is your Lord and Savior, you have a resident Teacher on the inside of you, ready and willing to guide you into all truths. James wrote that if any man lacks wisdom, all he needs to do is ask. James 1:5-6. There’s no excuse for anyone who calls themself a child of God to be lacking in their understanding of the Word. The eunuch had an excuse. He owned a Torah scroll and it’s obvious that he was a believer, but he didn’t have a teacher to help him in the understanding of what he was reading. Wow! He went to church, probably heard that scripture being read, but got nothing from it. He was in Jerusalem to worship. We have hundreds of Bible believing teachers at our disposal. We have books and commentaries galore. We have Christian television. You name it, we have it today.


Our excuses aren’t valid. We’re just lazy. Studying the Word takes time and dedication. Notice I didn’t say reading the Bible. That’s logos. We can listen to someone reading the Bible to us. But doing what Paul instructed Timothy to do requires effort. 2 Timothy 2:15. Becoming intimate with scriptures until they read you, exposing our hearts, bringing us to a place of surrendering to God’s will and purpose for our lives can only happen if we get a revelation from what we’ve taken the time to study, glean from and apply to our lives. The function of the Holy Spirit in you is to open your spiritual eyes and ears to see and hear Jesus introducing you to the Father’s faithfulness and love.


The eunuch said, “How can I understand what has never been explained to me!” Philip proceeds to bring illumination to the logos. When he finished the eunuch, fully understanding what was taught him, took the initiative of asking to be baptized. What happened? He went from just reading and reciting the Word to receiving the Word into his heart. He now wanted more. He wanted to identify with the rhema the revelation. He wanted everything the Word had to offer him.


So the eunuch answered Philip and said, “I ask you, of whom does the prophet say this, of himself or of some other man?” Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning at this Scripture, preached Jesus to him. Now as they went down the road, they came to some water. And the eunuch said, “See, here is water. What hinders me from being baptized?” Then Philip said, “If you believe with all your heart, you may.” And he answered and said, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.” So he commanded the chariot to stand still. And both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water, and he baptized him. Now when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught Philip away, so that the eunuch saw him no more; and he went on his way rejoicing.”

‭‭Acts‬ ‭8:34-39‬ ‭NKJV‬‬


As suddenly as Philip appeared he was taken away. But guess what? It didn’t matter to the eunuch. He had received what his soul was longing for: Revelation of what he was reading. Philip was his answer to all things Jesus. Candace had a new eunuch, he went on his way rejoicing. That’s what happens whenever we get a revelation of the Word. It changes us. We discover that we don’t have to be sick, poor, lonely, depressed, anxious, unhappy, or whatever maladies we may have. Understanding what we’re reading in God’s Word is a game changer. We recognize the enemy for who he is-a thief! We begin to confess the Truth of God’s Word over every situation with the backing of the Holy Spirit. And we too can go on our way rejoicing. Hallelujah!


We may not have an encounter like the eunuch, we may not have a Philip. But we have the Holy Spirit- and He doesn’t ever disappear. Jesus said He will be in us and with us forever! That’s a long long time. But if you never study the Word, even though He’s available to you, He can’t be of help to you. If I were given great wealth, but continued living in abject poverty, because I never claimed what was mine, who’s to be blamed for my situation? Exactly. If I’m still not understanding what I’m reading in the Word, when I’ve been given my own private Tutor, Who’s to blame? If I’m not taking advantage of all that’s available to me, I’m to blame. No one else is responsible for my ignorance. I can hear my Teacher every time I study, every time I write and every time I’m teaching. That’s His job-To guide me into all Truth. If there’s a scripture I don’t fully understand, I stop and ask Him to give me rhema understanding. He’s never once said “figure it out!” But I can’t be in a hurry. I have to sit and wait quietly for Him. And without fail, He opens my eyes and the light goes on.


This is how I approach the Word: “Holy Spirit, teach me something I do not know, show me something I never saw and remind me of what I may have forgotten. Open my eyes and cause me to behold wondrous things in Your Word.” These messages, and the lessons I’m privileged to teach in Bible study are a direct result of Him teaching and guiding me into all Truth. He’s more excited about us learning than we are about studying. Sometimes I’ve had to say “slow down, or hold that thought let me get a pen and paper.“ Or I’ll say, “please when I get to where I can write, remind me of what You said earlier.” Or I’ll get so excited when I’m studying that I’ll ask Him to please let me teach it the way He’s revealing it to me privately. He gets great pleasure out of teaching us. I can sense His excitement. I’m blown away by how He can teach multiple lessons using the same verse or passage of scripture. How He can apply different principles for application of the same scripture depending on what needs to be taught in a particular group or to an individual.


If you’re not understanding what you’re reading, or are bored with the Bible, it’s probably because you have not claimed your inheritance, or you’re in the wrong church. The eunuch was on his way home from church, but left understanding nothing. You’re living the pauper’s life when you’ve been blessed with inexhaustible wealth. If your pastor isn’t up to snuff, take the initiative and ask the Holy Spirit to help you grow in your understanding of The Word. It was obvious that the eunuch enjoyed scripture, but it was recitation until Philip showed up. It made for a good read, but it wasn’t changing him because he didn’t understand what or whom he was reading about. Make His day. He has been dormant in you long enough. Let Him teach you how to claim the wealth that is yours. And go on your way rejoicing! Luke 24:12-32


Logos-the written Word of the Bible and all that it represents. It’s information without knowledge or understanding. Information without revelation makes us wise in our own eyes. Satan used logos in Luke 4:9 to test Jesus when he misused Psalm 91. Jesus responded with rhema. It is written thou shalt not tempt the Lord your God. Deuteronomy 6:16


Rhema-the revelation knowledge of the written Word. It’s the Word coming alive in our hearts moving us to respond in faith to revealed Truth. By His stripes I was healed! 1 Peter 2:24. Leads me to confess I will never be sick another day in my life! Rhema is backed up by the Holy Spirit bringing about manifestation of what we understand.


Written by permission of the Holy Spirit

W. Tennant

November 8, 2021

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