Wednesday, September 29, 2010

AMEN - The Truth

I spoke these things to a men's prayer breakfast this morning.

The word "Amen" is translated the same in Hebrew, Greek, Latin and English. In fact, it is the same in every language. The literal meaning of it is not "so be it". This may be the popular definition but the literal meaning is "truth". When you say "Amen" you are saying "that is the truth".

The word "Amen" is used 183 times in scriptures. 153 in the New Testament and 30 in the Old Testament. In the New Testament, 24 out of the 27 books end with "Amen". Wow! After the book is written, the word "truth" is stamped at the end of it!

In the Old Testament, one of the places the word "Amen" is used (12 out of the 30 times it is mentioned) is in Deuteronomy 27:14-16. After the Israelites went into the Promised Land, God asked part of the half of the 12 Tribes to stand on Mount Gerizim and bless the people as they crossed over the Jordan River. He asked the other half to stand on Mount Ebal to speak cursing to the same people. Now, God wasn't cursing them. He was warning them of the cursing that could happen if they disobeyed His commandments. He was warning them of the consequences. But notice this about "Amen". Only after the cursing did the people say, "Amen". Why not "amen" the blessings too? I think it is because saying "amen" to the blessings is easy to do. It is easy to agree or say good things are true. Anyone can do that. God made them say "Amen" or "I understand the truth" to the potential cursing (warnings of consequences) because He wanted to make sure they understood the consequences for getting out of His will. He was warning them to keep them in fellowship with Him!

Its kind of like when I tell my daughters, "if you do that bad thing again, I'll discipline you. Do you understand?" I want them to say, "I understand the truth, Daddy". I don't want to discipline them. But I will if it will bring them back to the truth. I want to make sure they fully understand the consequences. The warnings and mention of consequences are there as boundaries to keep them in fellowship with me and walking in the truth. The same is true with God. He made them say "amen" to the consequences/cursing to ensure they understood. They couldn't come back later and say "I didn't know".

In the New Testament, Jesus said "amen" 106 times. 104 in the Gospels and two times in Revelation. We usually say "Amen" at the end of a sentence. Jesus did something new using the word "Amen". He not only used it at the beginning of a sentence, he said it twice at the beginning - "Truly, truly..." or "Verily, Verily...". Why did he say it twice? I think the first time he said it signified "it is true with God in heaven". I think the second time he said it he was saying, "it is true with me (Jesus) on earth. My Father and I are one."

Now, not only did Jesus say "Amen" he was "The Amen". Revelation 3:14 says, "“And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write, ‘These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God.'" He said "Amen" at the beginning - He is the Alpha! He said "Amen" at the end (i.e. Revelation 1:18) - He is the Omega! He is "The Amen" - the Way, Truth (Amen), and the Life!

Jesus Christ is the Son of God - AMEN!
Jesus Christ died for our sins on the cross - AMEN!
Jesus Christ rose from the grave - AMEN!

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