SS-4 - A Study of Amen
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Do you know what the very last word in the Bible is? It's the word Amen. What
you really know about that unique word? We all are very familiar with it; we use it
regularly. We say it when we pray, we hear about it a lot, but what does the word amen
actually mean? How is that word used in Scripture? How should it be used in my life?
It's been said that there are four universal words that are known in any language
across the world. Those four words are okay, hallelujah, amen, and Coke. We think
about the word amen today. Amen has been called the best known word in human
speech regardless of language. It's the actually the last word in the Bible as we
mentioned. In Revelation 22:21, when God closes out his final Revelation he places his
own amen upon those words.
Did you know that most books of the New Testament actually end with the word
amen? Here's a little more information about it concerning this word amen: it's used in
the Greek New Testament 129 times it occurs some seventy-seven times in the English
Bible. It's a word that we hear over and over again, that we say a lot, that we even hear
What does this word really mean? How did God use it? How does God expect
me to use this word? Here are a couple of interesting facts about the word amen. Did
you know that the word amen is actually a word used to describe a quality characteristic
of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ?
The Bible 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,'" Rev 3:14. When we think about this word amen we are talking about that which is
true and faithful, Jesus being the epitome of those characteristics. If we are faithless He
remains faithful. 1 Timothy said of Jesus, "It is said that he cannot lie." "He is the same
yesterday, today, and forever," Hebrews 13:8.
This word is also a used in the Old Testament and is also related to God. God is
called the Amen. The English Bible records the word truth in Isaiah 65:16, but it's
actually the Hebrew word Amen, "So that he who blesses himself and the earth shall
bless himself in the in the God of truth and he who swears in the earth shall swear by
the God of truth."
God is called the God of truth that word is the equivalent of the English word
amen, so we're talking about truth. God, "He cannot change," (Mal 3:6). "He cannot lie,"
Hebrews 6:18. His character is sure and solid; he's faithful in all things. That's the very
nature of the God whom we serve.
We think about the word amen, and we might ask ourselves, “Why do we need to study
this?" As we've already seen this is a familiar word. We want to be familiar with it and
know how to use it correctly, but there are some other reasons to study the word amen.
It's a word we use every day. At the close every prayer we say Amen. What does that
mean? Why do we do that? What's the importance of that statement?
We study this subject because this is a word that occurs so much in scripture, 130 times
nearly in the Bible. It's a very frequent word and we want to study this subject because it
has a very rich and encouraging background for the child of God. When this word is
used God is placing a solid surety, faithfulness, and a truth on something that we
absolutely are encouraged about it. Tis word amen is not an English word. It's a
transliteration of the Greek word am-ane' . What we did is take the Greek letters in the
word am-ane' and we came up with a new word: amen.
We didn't really have a word for baptism either, or we didn't select the correct
word. It should have been immersion, but the Greek word for baptism is baptitso. So we
just transliterated the idea of baptism, similarly to the word amen in the Bible. Well what
does this word mean? It originates from a Hebrew word meaning to build up or support.
It carries the idea, in Hebrew, of something with a solid foundation, a bedrock
foundation, some kind of pillars, some kind of post that cannot be moved, some great
lasting support is the idea in the Hebrew. Defined by Greek lexicons it simply means
firm or truly, it means something that is certain. It carries the connotation of absolutely
or often when we say it in prayer, or when we hear people say it after something God
says it's like it's the idea of “may it be so,” “let that come to pass,” “absolutely,” “that's
what we want” is the idea in Scripture.
The word “Amen” is used very uniquely in the gospel of John and it helps us to
understand it. In the gospel of John it is translated as 'verily, verily,' in the King James,
or 'truly, truly.' For example, in John 3:3-5, Jesus is discussing the subject of getting into
the kingdom and the new birth with Nicodemus. Jesus says, "Verily, verily, I say unto
you unless a man is born of water and the spirit he cannot get into the kingdom of
heaven." What's Jesus saying? This is a fact; you cannot get into the kingdom without
being born of water and the spirit. So it carries of a beautiful, solid idea that we find is
very rich in the New Testament and in the teaching of our Lord and Savior, Jesus
The Holy Spirit actually helps us define the word Amen in a couple of parallel
passages that we find in our Bible. For example Mark 9:1, "and Jesus said unto them
verily (or Amen or truly) I say unto you, there be some of them that stand here which
shall not taste of death until they see the kingdom of God present with power." We also
learn from Luke 9:27, a parallel passage, Jesus said, "But I tell you truly (or verily or
Amen), there are some standing here who shall not taste death until they see the
kingdom of God." Now Mark uses the word Greek word which we know is the word
am-ane' or amen, but Luke in that parallel passage uses a different word Alethios which
is the word for truth. Parallel passages help us to understand a little for that word amen
is supplied and supplemented by the word truth. When we talk about the word amen,
we're talking about something that is true and absolute in every way what a wonderful
idea that applies to God's children.
The word amen is synonymous with our word yes. It is used that way in the Bible.
In 2 Corinthians 1:20 it says, "For all the promises of God in Him are yes, and in Him
Amen to the glory of God through us." Notice how those two ideas are synonymous: yes
and amen those go hand-in-hand. When we say amen we're saying surely, we're saying
yes, we're saying absolutely, that's something that's true and solid from Almighty God to
his Christians or to his children.
What is the first usage of the word amen in Scripture? It's a very interesting
context in Numbers 5. The context is a scene about adultery, immorality, and the things
that were going on in that context. Numbers 5:19 says, "And the priest shall put her
under oath, and say to the woman, "If no man has lain with you, and if you have not
gone astray to uncleanness while under your husband’s authority, be free from this
bitter water that brings a curse. But if you have gone astray while under your husbands
authority, and if you have defiled your husband and some man other than your husband
has lain with you then the priest shall put the woman under the oath of the curse, and
he shall say to the woman, 'the Lord make you a curse and an oath among your people,
when the Lord makes your thigh rot and your belly swell; and may this water that
causes the curse go into your stomach, make your belly swell and your thigh rot. And
the woman shall say, 'Amen, so be it.'"
The first usage in the Bible was an interesting context. Someone who has been
accused of adultery and priest is sent by God to give a test to the accused. She drinks
this water as her part in the test and she’s got to agree and say, 'if I've committed
adultery let this water cause these things to happen to me if not let it prove it as well.'
And to confirm this oath, the woman says amen. What's she agreeing to? She's
agreeing, when this woman says amen, she is agreeing to God's law and she's giving to
consent to the punishment if she's lied. Amen was used as an oath here of truthfulness
and surety, with a sense of gravity and awe and respect for the Almighty indeed being
used in this context.
What about Christians today? When we say amen what exactly are we saying?
It's a very serious thing to say amen and here's what we're saying. We're saying yes
before God, I agree with that, I believe that to be true, I want that to be so in my life.
When I say amen not only am I saying that's right and I agree with it, I am consenting to
that teaching, I'm confirming my faith in Scripture, and I'm requesting or asking for
something to be true or happen in my life. When someone preaches the word and we
say amen, not only are we saying preacher that's right, we're also saying I agree with
that, I'm ready to make my life in line with that teaching regardless of the consequences.
When we say amen after prayer, we're confirming our faith in God who's promised that
these things will be true, we're requesting that something happen or be true in our life.
And so there is up a sense of seriousness when we say that. It's not just saying yes.
There's a whole lot more to it than that, and it carries a beautiful connotation of our trust
in God and our willingness to agree to his will and put that to use in our lives from
I believe that we can use the word Amen flippantly if we’re not careful. Someone
may say Amen or we may hear that often and it may become even habitual. How should
the word amen be used by child of God?
First, it needs to be used intelligibly with understanding and with the mind
engaged in what we're saying. 1 Corinthians 14:15-16 says, "I will sing with the spirit
and with the understanding. I'll pray with the spirit and I'll pray with the understanding."
When I sing and when I pray I need to understand what I'm singing and praying. When
we close prayer with the word Amen, we also need to think about what it is we're
saying. Here's what we mean by that, we need to think about what am I really asking
God for, we need to think about the promises of God and how we can always trust him,
the surety of those promises, and we need to think about what it is I'm actually agreeing
to. For example, when the gospel is preached and we maybe talk about sin or we talk
about evangelism or we talk about Bible study, somebody may chime in and say amen.
Is that person really saying amen because he wants to consent to that, his life is ready
to change, he wants to go out and get to work doing those things? Are we really not
only just saying yes but agreeing to that in our life by the actions that we show?
Secondly, Amen should always come from the heart. In John 4:24, the Bible
says, "God is a Spirit, and those who worship him must worship him in spirit and in
truth." This means is you can't force that to happen, you can’t say, okay when I go to
services today I'm going to say amen. No, it doesn't work that way, it's got to come from
the heart. It must be something that is from the emotion, the seed of understanding
combined with that, John 4:24 and out of a heartfelt desire to worship God. To honor
him, to change our lives, be aligned with His teaching, and with His way of life. In the
Bible, when we see the word amen it's after something amazing happens. Like in the
book of Revelation it's after some great truth that we really want in our life, that we want
to change to, that we want to glorify God with, and so it's got to be heartfelt. It can't be
forced, it can't be something that you know that's just what we're supposed to do, and
it’s got to come from the heart from a child of God. It must be said in faith, I can't say
amen if I really don't do it in faith based on the word of God. You see, "Faith comes by
hearing and hearing by the word of God," Romans 10:17. "Without faith it's impossible
to please him, for he that comes to God must believe that he is and that he is a
rewarder of those who diligently seek him," Hebrews 11:6. When we say amen, it needs
to be based on faith meaning based on the word of God, based on our understanding of
that word, and based on our willingness to live that by faith in our lives as a child of
The word Amen should also be uttered in hope of the promises of God. Listen to
Revelation 1:18 the Scripture records Jesus saying, "I am he who lives, and was dead,
and behold I am alive for evermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death."
I was alive, I was dead, now I'm alive for evermore and then you hear that word Amen
it's based on the hope of the resurrection, based on the future life of Christ, and all the
promises and blessings that go along with that. Hope ought to be a part of our utterance
of this word
Don't say Amen unless you plan on doing something after you say that.
Deuteronomy 27:26 records, "Cursed is the one who does not confirm all the words of
this law and all people shall say, 'Amen!'" It's a very serious thing to say amen God
says, "Cursed are you if you don't perform all the things written in this law," and God
said, "I want you to agree to it by saying amen." When someone says Amen they've got
to plan on doing something with that truth they're confirming. There might be a great
lesson or someone might read the Bible or hear God's word spoken about, for example,
on the subject of giving. “God loves a cheerful giver,” 2 Corinthians 9:6-7. Christians
should give as they purposed on their heart on the first day of the week and we should
give just like that widow who gave those two mites. Somebody might chime in with an
Amen and then when the collection plate comes around they're too stingy to put
anything in. If I'm going to say amen I'd better back it up by actually doing something
with that truth that I've placed my confirmation on. Someone talks about maybe
preaching the word of God and we want to preach truth. We want to preach it in season,
we want God's truth come forth, and when he hits a hard subject in which we're
encouraged to change our life we said Amen to it. Sometimes we go home and we’re
not really making the changes that we should make. Amen means I'm going to do
something. I want to change something, I'm going to believe something, I'm going to put
some kind of action to work in my life based on this confirmation I've given to God's
Now let's follow it up by maybe mentioning three or four things in Scripture that
Christians should place their Amen toward. First, as God's children we ought to have
the attitude of Amen toward God's law in our lives. God gave all those cursings and
blessings, in Deuteronomy 27:26, God said, "I want you to place your oath on my law by
saying amen." That attitude should be ours. When it comes to God's law we should
have an attitude of amen, that is I want to know the law. "Study to show yourself
approved unto God," 2 Timothy 2:15. Not only do I want to know it, I want to live it in my
life, "I want to walk in the footsteps of Jesus," 1 Peter 2:21. I want to let others know
about that law, and I want to live in hope of what that law promises: eternal life, 1 John
A second thing we should have an attitude of Amen about is worship and praise
toward God. 1 Chronicles 16:36 says, "Blessed be the Lord God of Israel from
everlasting to everlasting! And all the people shall say all the people said, 'Amen!' and
praised the Lord." In this wonderful setting of worship and praise to God people place
their amen on worship of God. When we praise God not just our words, but our heart,
our mindset, and our attitude always should be truly, faithfully in hope and love we're
worshiping and giving our heart; not just our heart but our lives and our attitude to the
Thirdly, every child of God should have attitude and the mindset of Amen when
God’s word is read and preached. In Nehemiah 8:5-6 the Scripture says, "And Ezra
opened the book in the sight of all the people, for he was standing above all the people;
and when he opened it, all the people stood up. And Ezra blessed the Lord, the great
God. Then all the people answered, 'Amen, Amen!' while lifting up their hands. And they
bowed their heads and worshiped the Lord with their faces to the ground." In context,
the word of God had not been given its prime place of importance as it should have for
long time. They're now gathered back in the restoration era after captivity and what a
heartfelt scene they stand up, the word of God is open, and read, and the people cry
amen, amen. How good it must've been to hear the word of God in that scene and
friend, how good it is that we live in a land that we have the word of God. We live in a
land we can hear it and how we should place our confirmation upon the reading and
preaching of God's holy word.
A fourth thing that we should place amen upon is our attitude of confirmation and
trust in God in prayer. In Matthew 6:13, Jesus ended his prayer teaching the disciples
how to pray with, "thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven." At the
end of that He said, "Amen." When we pray we should have the attitude of amen we
ought to have the attitude of understanding. God's the one who we can trust with these
promises of blessings and desires. God is the one who is able to accomplish these
things and not men. And so as our attitude, as our heart is, so goes our life in so many
things and in so many areas today.
One last thing of which every Christian surely ought to place a heartfelt
confirmation upon. That is the death, burial, and resurrection of our Lord and Savior.
Listen to it again, Revelation 1:18, Jesus says, "I am he who lives, and was dead, and
behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen."
Where is the rock-solid foundation of our hope? In this amen, based upon the
death, the burial, and the resurrection of Jesus. "I am he who was alive," there's his life,
"was dead," his burial and death, "and I'm he who is alive forevermore." Where is my
hope and where is your hope? It's in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus: the
We ask you today: are you a Christian? Have you heard the word of God? Do
you believe in Jesus, John 8:24? Would you repent of your sins, Luke 13:3, confessing
his name before men? And would you be immersed in water placing your confirmation
on God's truth as is taught in Mark 16:16? May we not just say amen, may we live that
attitude throughout our lives bringing honor and glory to the Father.
Study Questions for: “Special Studies: A Study of Amen”
1. What is the final word in the Bible (Revelation 22:21)?
2. Amen is synonymous with what word according to 2 Corinthians 1:20?
3. How should we sing and pray according to 1 Corinthians 14:15-16?
4. How should we worship God according to John 4:24?
5. According to Romans 10:17, how do we obtain faith?
6. How is Amen used in Revelation 1:18?
7. According to Deuteronomy 27:26, we should only use Amen if we what?
8. According to 2 Corinthians 9:6-7, what does God love?
9. What should we do to show ourselves approved to god according to 2
10. How should we use Amen according to Matthew 6:13?