(Parts 1 & 2)
The Hebrew word for “Amen” occurs about 174 times in the Bible.
22 times in the Old Testament it is translated “Amen”.
2 times in the Old Testament it is translated “truth” in Isaiah 65:16.
1 time in the Old Testament it is translated “so be it” (Jeremiah 11:5).
About 50 times in the New Testament it is translated “Amen”.
And about 99 times in the New Testament it is translated “verily”, which means truth or truly.
The word “Amen” means: Firm, faithful, sure, true or truly, verily, so be it, and may it be fulfilled.
HMM said: “The word ‘Amen’ is a most remarkable word. It was transliterated directly from the Hebrew into the Greek of the New Testament, then into Latin and into English and many other languages, so that it is practically a universal word. It has been called the best known word in human speech. The word is directly related—in fact, almost identical—to the Hebrew word for "believe", or faithful. Thus, it came to mean "sure" or "truly", an expression of absolute trust and confidence.”
This evening we want to notice just two of the ways that the word “Amen” was used in the Bible.
1. First, God’s people were to say “Amen” when God’s laws and cursings were proclaimed.
“Amen” was the required response of God’s people to the cursings for breaking His Holy laws. Notice: Deuteronomy 27:15-26.
God’s law pronounced judgment and cursing upon those that disobeyed it. God required that the people said “Amen” to the cursings for breaking His law. So we see that “Amen” isn’t just used for the sugary sermons of God’s goodness and blessings, but also for the sermons on God’s judgment and cursings.
When we fail to “Amen” God’s judgments, in affect we are saying that we disagree with His judgments, and show our disapproval for His laws and judgments. God said over and over in Deuteronomy 27, that the people shall say “Amen”. He didn’t say “they can say Amen”, or that it would be “nice for them to say Amen”; but He said “they shall say Amen”.
Sometimes preachers must stand before the people, and declare God’s judgment and penalty for breaking His commands. This beloved, is not the easiest part of a pastor’s job. Sometimes we have to reprove, rebuke, and exhort the flock with all longsuffering and doctrine. Do you think this is a pleasant thing, or an easy thing to do? No, believe me, it isn’t. I love you folks, and I know that sometimes the truth hurts us. I know it is for our good, but beloved, sometimes the pulpit is a lonely place.
Sometimes the church house is very quiet when we preach about God’s wrath and judgment upon the wicked, and God’s judgment upon believers when we sin, and when we stray from the way of truth, and righteousness, and holiness; when we are unfaithful to the Lord and His house; and when we leave the good path of holiness for the ways of sin and the world. It gets very quiet.
Beloved, I believe that God would have His people say “Amen” to His judgments today, just as He did back in days of old. In this way you strengthen and support the Word of truth that goes forth to those who need to hear it. Not only this, but it shows support for your pastor when he preaches on those difficult and convicting subjects, that God requires him to preach.
And beloved, we should say “Amen”, even if the preacher is preaching on our hearts, and our sins, and our backslidings! That is evidence of repentance and humility toward God, when we can “Amen” the truth, even when it is convicting us.
Beloved, this preacher doesn’t want glory, and I don’t want praise. But I only want us His people to praise and honor Him. And that is what we do when we say “Amen” to His judgments.
Now, by the grace of God, the preacher will go on preaching against sin, and preaching God’s holy law, and His judgment upon sinners, “Amen” or no “Amen,” but those who understand the will of God and the truth as it is in Jesus, would do well, and would please the Lord to say “Amen” to these things.
2. Secondly, God’s people were to say “Amen” when God, and His attributes, and His Name, and His works were exalted and magnified in the assembly.
The word “Amen” was used as an expression of blessing and praise to the Lord, especially following the words of exaltation to the Lord. Lets notice some verses: 1 Chronicles 16:36 (David after bringing the ark of God back); Nehemiah 8:4-6 (after rebuilding of wall around Jerusalem); Psalm 41:13; 72:19; 89:52; 106:48 (Here in the Psalms “Amens” are offered to Psalms and spiritual songs.)
We learn from these verses that the people of God said “Amen” to the blessing of God’s Name, and to the declaration of His glorious person, and His attributes, and to all of His Name!
Beloved, I can think of no better time, and no more precious opportunity to express our adoration and praise to God, than to say “Amen” when God’s glorious Person, and His attributes, and His works are proclaimed in the assembly of the saints!
When we expound and proclaim the truths of God’s sovereignty, and His glorious works of creation, and salvation, and His nation Israel, and His glorious Church, and His second coming and future glory; Beloved, it ought to cause our hearts to rejoice, and our lips to spontaneously answer with that universal word of praise to God- “AMEN”, and “AMEN”.
When we preach about the sinner’s desperate condition, and God’s sovereign, amazing grace in salvation; when we say “Amen”, we tell lost sinners in the room that they are lost in their sins and in need of Jesus Christ for salvation. By our “Amens” we echo back the gospel call into the ears of lost sinners in the assembly. So then, by saying “Amen,” we preach the gospel of Jesus!
When we preach about the sovereignty of God, and all His glorious attributes, and the truths of the Lord’s Church, and we say “Amen”, we tell the unlearned in our midst that these things are true, and that they can be believe these doctrines with confidence and full assurance of faith. By saying “Amen,” we help teach the unlearned in our midst the precious truths of God’s Word.
When we preach against error and false doctrine, and false prophets and teachers, and false churches, and false gospels, and so on; when we say “Amen” we are condemning every false way, and teaching other saints to shun, and to beware of false teachers and their false doctrines. By saying “Amen”, we are upholding the truth, and preaching against error.
When the preacher preaches and proclaims the glorious truths of God’s precious Word, and we holler out a hardy “Amen”, we give strength to the weak, and encouragement to the feeble saints. In fact, we bring joy and encouragement to all the saints.
When we say “Amen” to the singing and the preaching of God’s Word, we also tell visitors that come into our doors, that we love the Lord, and we Love His Church, and that we are alive, and that we rejoice and enjoy being a part of our Church. We tell visitors that this is a good church to be a member of, and we encourage them to want to join with us in serving the Lord.
And beloved, perhaps best of all and most importantly, when we say “Amen”, we give glory and honor, and the sacrifice of praise unto God, which is the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His Name (Heb. 13:15).
Brethren, I’m not trying to force you to say “Amen”. A preacher once said that if I had to ask people to say “Amen”, I would quit preaching. Well, that was perhaps a bit boastful to say.
But beloved, we don’t say “Amen” just because we have a very inspiring preacher, or just because we like our preacher. Now, I hope you like your preacher. And I hope that our sermons are inspiring, but we say “Amen” for the truths sake, and for God’s sake, and for the sake of others in the assembly, that we might be a blessing to them.
Next time we want to see some of the many New Testament examples of the word “Amen”, and how Jesus, and the Apostles, and even the angels of God often used this word to confirm the truth, and to seal their prayers and the prophesies of things to come.
Part 2; some ways the word “Amen” is used in the New Testament
1. Amen was used to end prayers:
Mt 6:13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.
Here Jesus ended the model prayer with “Amen”, to show us how to end our prayers. In this case it would mean “So be it”, or “May it be fulfilled.” (We notice Jesus didn’t conclude with “In Jesus Name!” This has become a traditional prayer ending, though not Biblically required. It is assumed that all prayers are through Christ, and therefore are offered in and through His Name).
Paul also concluded his prayers with “Amen”:
Ro 15:33 Now the God of peace be with you all. Amen.
Ro 16:24 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.
2. Amen was spoken audibly in the church services:
1 Co. 14:16 Else when thou shalt bless with the spirit, how shall he that occupieth the room of the unlearned say Amen at thy giving of thanks, seeing he understandeth not what thou sayest?
The context is speaking in unknown languages or dialogues. How can I say “Amen” if someone gives thanks in Russian, or French, or nonsense gibberish. I don’t know what they are saying. For all I know they might be cursing God. In the case of most so-called unknown tongues, the one speaking in the so-called unknown tongue has no idea what they are saying themselves, if they are saying anything at all. This is scary and dangerous ground to be on, beloved. I sure wouldn’t want someone to speak in our church, who didn’t know what they were saying. They might be possessed of a demon, and be cursing God.
But this text implies that saying “Amen” at the giving of thanks in the assembly during public prayers and other aspects of worship, is a normal part of New Testament Church services.
3. Amen was used to seal a special command, as in the Great Commission:
Mt 28:18-20 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. 19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
Truly! May it be fulfilled! May it be fulfilled by Calvary Baptist Church, in Ashland, Kentucky.
4. Amen was used to confirm some special truth:
It was used to confirm the innumerable works of Christ during His ministry:
John 21:25 And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen.
Not only is “Amen” used in this passage to seal John’s Gospel, but also to confirm this glorious truth of the vast and innumerable works of Christ during His public ministry. Consider that John was already very familiar with the other three Gospels. And even with his fourth Gospel, there still were innumerable works of Jesus that could have been documented. In other words, God only gave us a brief synopsis in the New Testament, of the works of Christ during His ministry.
It was used to confirm the promises of God:
2 Co. 1:20 For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us.
The promises of God are “Amen”, that is, they are sure, and true, and faithful, and they shall come to pass.
It was used to confirm that God received glory in the Lord’s Church:
Eph 3:21 Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.
“Amen”, God receives glory in His Church. “Amen”, His church is by Christ Jesus, Who is the Author of His Church. “Amen”, God receives glory in the church through Christ Jesus, and only through Jesus Christ. “Amen”, His Church will be here throughout all ages, and even into the eternal state, world without end. “Amen”, it is through His Church that He will receive glory, and He has ordained no other earthly institution for this purpose. And all I can say to this is, Amen, Amen, Amen!!!
It was used to confirm the second coming of Christ:
Re 1:7 Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.
Behold, He cometh! It is the Truth! It is Sure! Be it so! May it be fulfilled! Amen!
It was used by Jesus to confirm His earthly work, and also His eternal existence.
Re 1:18 I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.
Jesus isn’t in the grave. His bones are not buried unto the ruins of ancient Jerusalem. No, He is risen, and ascended, never to die again, and He is alive forevermore! Amen!
And not only that, but He holds the keys of hell and of death. He holds the power and authority over life and death, over Heaven and Hell! All power is given unto Him. He has power to save, and to damn. He is God, the second Person of the Holy Trinity! Amen!
5. Amen was used to praise and worship the Lord:
God is to be worshipped as Creator:
Ro 1:25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.
God as the Creator of all things, is blessed forever. Amen! May God’s people worship their Creator, and not the creation, as those who live in darkness.
Christ is to be worshipped as Lord over all things:
Ro 9:5 Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen.
Christ, who came through His nation Israel, is over all things. All things have been put under His feet. Christ is Lord of all, and God blessed for ever. Amen!
God is to be worshipping for His omniscience, and His omnipotence, and His sovereignty:
Ro 11:33-36 O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! 34 For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor? 35 Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again? 36 For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.
God is omniscient, or that is, all knowing. His wisdom and knowledge are infinitely deep and immeasurably rich, and His judgments are unsearchable. He is the sovereign God over all. His ways are past finding out. All things were created by Him, and to Him, and for Him. He is awesome and glorious beyond our wildest and fondest imagination. Unto Him be glory for ever and for ever. And what is the best word to show praise and worship to our God for Who He is? Amen!
God is to be worshipped as King:
1Ti 1:17 Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.
Our God is the King eternal and immortal. He is invisible, and He is the only wise God. All other gods are dumb idols, the works of men’s hands. These attributes belong to God and God alone. And let us not miss the point; He is the King. He is our King. He is King of all heaven and earth! He is Lord of Lord’s, and King of Kings. Unto our King be honor and glory for ever and ever! Amen!
Beloved, true worship must be God centered, and not man centered. We must worship Him in Spirit and in truth. May everything that we do in His house be God centered and Christ exalting. May our music and singing, including the words to our songs, be God centered and God glorifying. May our prayers be God centered and Christ exalting. And may our teaching and preaching be God centered, God honoring, and Christ exulting.
May God help us to get out of the way, and may all glory and praise be unto Him, for only He is worthy of worship and praise, and He will not share His glory with another. Amen!
All the saints and angels of Heaven say “Amen”:
The four living creatures, and the four and twenty elders, which represent the redeemed, all say “Amen” in praise and worship to God on His Throne:
Re 5:14 And the four beasts said, Amen. And the four and twenty elders fell down and worshipped him that liveth for ever and ever.
All the host of angels around the throne say “Amen”:
Re 7:11-12 And all the angels stood round about the throne, and about the elders and the four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped God, 7:12 Saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen.
Now, beloved, I don’t know about our worship down here, but the saints and angels up there are worshipping and praising God, and shouting “Amen”! Glory to God! Alleluia! Praise the Lord!…
Re 19:4 And the four and twenty elders and the four beasts fell down and worshipped God that sat on the throne, saying, Amen; Alleluia.
Yes beloved, we may hesitate to say “Amen” in this house of God below, but be assured, the Heavenly host are shouting “Amen” up there. There will be no silent tongues up there.
6. Finally, Amen was a name that Jesus ascribed to Himself:
Re 3:14 And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;
Yes, beloved, Jesus is the “Amen.” He is the Truth. He is faithful. He is “Amen”. All that He said in His Word is “Amen”. It is all truth, it is all faithful, it will all come to pass, and it will all be fulfilled. All His promises that He made to His people are “Amen”. All of His judgments that He promised to the wicked are also “Amen”.
Jesus is the “Amen”. We can believe on Him. We can trust Him. We can depend on Him as His children.
If you are lost, salvation by faith in the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ is “Amen”. It is sure, it is faithful, and it is true. It will come to pass, and it will be fulfilled completely. All can trust Him with you soul. You can trust Him with your eternal destiny.
And His second coming is “Amen.” It isn’t a question of “if” Jesus will come again, but a question of when. Beloved, all evidence points to His soon return. Are you ready to meet Him?